A Day at the RacesÖ.What fun!

What a day, and what a race as 10 teams from the Buzzards Bay Rowing Club and one each from Gloucester and New Bedford faced off in five divisions for the Clubís Working Waterfront Festival championships. The competition opened with the Senior women team, the Norwegian Squareheads, ages 60-70, challenging the master Gloucester women who usually row gigs and who had limited experience in Beedle whaleboats. The win by the Squareheads set the mark which incredibly held through the Master womenís races where Gone Rowing went against the Sea biscuits, and The Crab-a Lots (who ultimately took the division) rowed against the Midlife Crisis ladies. It wasnít until the coed teams rowed that the Squareheadís 13:44 time was shattered as the Draggins, with a time of 12:46, defeated the Wavs and, also, New Bedfordís Watery Tarts. The Bad Boys, a menís team rowing unopposed won their division with a time of 13:43 for the mile long course.

However, the race of the day occurred in the womenís division contest with the White Caps team hungry to unseat the longtime undefeated champions, Margaretís Oars. Right from the start the teams were neck in neck until the White Caps took the lead when Jody Smith, of Margaretís, had to call an avast in order to avoid a collision at the cross over. Seconds later, the Margaretís boat took off, fairly flying through the water, caught up, passed, then went for the kill, full speed ahead, chalking up a 13 second victory over the White Caps 13:28 finish. The crowd on State Pier was wild throughout the race as the boats went back and forth. Fans can always count on the competition between the womenís teams to be a thriller and once again, they were not denied a true nail biter.

Cobalt blue deck crystals were awarded to the division winners: Seniors, Norwegian Squareheads; Masters, Crab-a-lots; Coeds, Draggins; Menís, Bad Boys; and Womenís Margaretís Oars..

An added feature of the races were the awards for superlatives in three categories. These are highly competitive and make for a lot of whispering and secrecy in the weeks leading up the races as the teams plan their entries. It was the Gone Rowing team who took home the Golden Hanger Award for their very creative red (port) and green (starboard) rowing uniforms. The Crab-a- lots were voted the team with the most team spirit and enthusiasm. The Norwegian Squareheads outdid their 2006 prize winning troll outfits, wowing the crowd as they roared in clad as bikers, seated on the backs of six motorcycles commandeered for the parade, with all of the ladies dressed in black spandex, replete with piercings and numerous tattoos, thus winning the costume award for the second year.

Music throughout the day, as well as the announcements, were provided by the TLC band from Fairhaven, three of whose members just happened to be married to rowers. But, it didnít end there, for as soon as the races were over, volunteers sped over to the clubís booth at the Tonnessen Park where they gave festival goers the opportunity to ďbend an oarĒ in a whaleboat. The final venue was a big party at Knuckleheads to celebrate a successful day with lots of good natured kibitzing exchanged among the teams. What a day! What a race! What FUN!

Final Results by times: (There were some very close contests and in all fairness, the conditions changed from dead calm to choppy as the day wore on)

Womens divisions
Margarets            13:15 open
White Caps          13:28
Squareheads        13:44 senior
Crabalots             13:56 master
Sea Biscuits        13:58
Midlife                 14:21
Gone Rowing       15:08
Gloucester          15:38

Coed Division:
Draggins             12:46
WAV                  12:59
Watery tarts        13:22

Bad Boys           13:43