A Tale of Two Races: Part I The Slocum River Regatta

Early last Saturday, four whaleboat teams from the Buzzards Bay rowing Club, left Fairhaven en route to the Lloyd Centerís third annual Slocum River Regatta. There, they were joined by three whaleboat crews from Whaling City Rowing, as well as, crews from 54 craft divided into 10 classifications and their age group sub divisions. Unlike the 2007 event, which was rainy and cold, the early morning chill was warmed by the sun, and with clear skies and calm water conditions, it turned out to be a perfect day, one which saw several old records tumble.

Rowing in the womenís master whaleboat contest, the BBRC Crab-a-Lots were paired against the WCR Hot Flashes, with the BBRC team eclipsing the 2007 record by over a minute, posting a 20:16 for the two mile course. The WCRís Grey Buzzards, in the menís master division, rowing unopposed, smashed their own 2007 record, also by over a minute, with a blazing 17:48. Later, in another uncontested event, the elite coed BBRC Dragons stove to best their 2007 time which they did with a mark of 18:15, a scant six seconds off the record set in 2006.

In these contests, due to the narrowness of Slocum River, the boats did not row head to head but left the start at varying intervals, leaving the crews in the dark as to their official times, which were announced during the awards ceremony at the end of the dayís races. Thus, it was on pins and needles, that the crews of the womenís elite division, waited almost two hours to find out who had won the division. In this event, the BBRC White Caps, 2007 record holders, took on the BBRC RowMoans, 2007 masterís record holders, and the WCR Sirenes. Leaving the start at 15 second intervals, the White Caps headed out followed by the Sirenes and, lastly, the RowMoans. The RowMoans, in an all out effort, passed the Sirenes before the mile mark, and then set off in hot pursuit of the White Caps, attempting to close the gap between them and make up the 30 plus seconds needed to take first. place. As it turned out both teams broke the 2007 record, but it was a jubilant White Cap team, who, by a very narrow margin, had held their own, and set the new record at 18:29, a full minute and a half off the 2007 mark.

There were many other close contests in the various divisions making for an exciting day. Following the races all the participants were treated to a bountiful lunch and enjoyed chatting and renewing old acquaintances. The Lloyd Center has a lot to offer as a destination and it doesnít get any better than being out on the scenic Slocum River on a glorious fall day.

Coming up next, in Part II: Next Saturday, as part of the Working Waterfront Festival events, the White Caps take on the undefeated Margaretís Oars in the open womenís division, of the BBRC club championships at Union Wharf. Races start at 8íoclock. Music provided by TLC.

The BBRC Teams

White Caps: Janet Shurtleff, Michelle Blumetti, Brittany Macomber, Patti Mathieu, Celeste Settlemire, Tom Blumetti, cox

RowMoans: Jackie Duval, Deb Gabriel, Mary Jane Mc Manus, Kathy Knutsen, Barbara Belanger, Michael Suominen, cox

Crabalots:Jean West, Mary Comtois, Laura Anderson, Jean Staat, Nancy York, Vi Taylor, cox

Dragons: Louie Doherty, Dan Georgianna, Jeff Moore, Laura Anderson, Karen Gravel, Nancy Jacobsen, cox.