Two Days at the Races

In case you werenít able to make the races, hereís the scoop and, if you were there, a recap of the days events.

Saturdayís weather was picture perfect; blue skies, calm waters, low humidity and temperatures in the 70ís to start. The air was charged with good humor and excitement as the teams, sporting their new 2006 uniforms, arrived. Seeing as there were no contenders in the Youth Division, the Womenís Division led off with Ahabís Wenches posting an impressive 10:47.44 over the Seabiscuitís, not too shabby, 11:17. Thus, the pressure was on for Margaretís Oars and the Liberty Belles who needed to tie, or best, those times to make it into the championship heat. It was Margaretsís who came up with a 10:48.47 and were assured a go at Ahabís with the Belles and Biscuits set to duke it out in the second heat.

Next up was the Womens Masterís Division where, with barely 30 minutes rest, Ahabís, Kathy Knutsen, climbed into the Gone Rowing boat to row for their stroke, Gloria Gundersen who was out of town. Another sub, Frieda Claes, rowing for the first time with the team, filled in for an injured Jane Paquin. Hence, a gutsy new masterís team faced the veteran Norwegian Squareheads. The Squareheads, resplendent in their canary yellow spandex shirts, took advantage of the perfect conditions, posting a personal best time of 11:40.92.

The largest division, Coeds, with seven contenders was up next. All were vying for the three places in that important first heat. First up was the WAV team versus the Draggins and Buoy Busters. The WAV and Draggins took the lead to set the mark. Sitting through the next two heats was agonizing for the crestfallen Draggins who watched the Mystic team move into first place and, then, in the third heat, saw Adrift, with a blazing 10:00 flat, cruise into first, moving Mystic to second, the WAV into third and sliding the Draggins into 4th and out of contention for the Coed Championship. Draggins would face Nommos on Sunday with Buoy Busters and Bearly Rowing rounding out the division.

In the Menís Division it was sort of a rematch between old rivals as the restructured Muffins team now, Oíme D Laurie took on the former Grey Buzzards. Lauries bested the Buzzards by 7 seconds setting the stage for an exciting match on Sunday.

Day Two

Sunday turned out to be the kind of day most would say, ďLetís notĒ, as the winds whipped up to 18 mph with formidable gusts. With the current pushing SW, it was evident that it was going to be a boatsteerers nightmare trying to keep on course. Paving the way for those who came after, the early teams added almost 2 minutes to Saturdayís times. Thus, the Biscuits and Belles rowing in the first race of the day, without the benefit of scouting out the other teams, fell victim to the currents. It was the Biscuits who took the second division of the Womenís Race with a time of 13:21. In the championship heat, Ahabís wide turn cost them dearly when they lost their lead over Margaretís who cranked it up on the homestretch and, taking advantage of the tail wind, managed a 11:53, only a minute off Saturdayís time to capture the Womenís Open Division Championship once again.

The Squareheads, with Gail Isaksen fresh from the Margaretís Race, steering, and Kathy Knutsen doing a quick change into her Gone Rowing shirt, set off to defy the wind and currents. With Gailís experience, the Squareheads were able to nail their turns and only added a minute to their Saturdayís time with a 12:56 thus securing the Womens Masterís Championship. Hatís off to Gone Rowing for a good race under conditions theyíd never experienced before.

In the Coed Division championship heat, it was Adrift all the way, with a 10:20, followed by Mystic (11:15.21) and the WAV in 12:41. With only 13 seconds separating the Draggins and Nommos times on Saturday, the second heat race ended up about the same with Draggins finishing 11:20 over Nommoís, 11:33. A bit frustrating for both teams since their times would have competitive in the championship heat. Completing the category, it was the zoo crew, Bearly Rowing over the Buoy Busters.

The most exciting race of the day proved to be for the Menís Division championship. It ended in a photo finish, as the Buzzards boat, slightly behind, steered by Jodi Duval, seemed to leap forward at the finish line and, until the timer gave the word, no one knew the result. The winner turned out to be the jubilant Buzzards team by one second! A great finish to an exciting day.

Winning teams received Champion shirts; division (heat) winners, framed plaques; and every participant, a pin to mark the day. Hopefully, this little report has inspired you to form a team for next year or even for the next race in September. Itís a fun way to spend a summer day.