The Port Rowing Varsity Men’s and Women’s teams made the annual pilgrimage to Saratoga Springs to face off against the best rowing teams in the state. The total squad consisted of 87 high school rowers and a select few accomplished middle school rowers.
The weekend-long regatta began with a day of timed trials where the greatest competitor was the clock. In each event, the finish time for each boat places the rowers in final heats with 9 lanes pushing to finish the 1500 meter course.
In many of the final races, the winners took their spot by mere inches. The race for men’s lightweight four-person boat had a photo finish for second, third, and fourth place with the difference being one-hundredth of a second. Once the officials reviewed video and timers and finally declared a fourth-place finish for Port Rowers Lucien Wostenholme, Dan Dzwlewicz, and brothers Witt and Graham Holmes. Just missing a chance at Nationals by an inch, the men still took home the bronze medal for a third-place finish for clubs.
In total, Port Rowing entered in 16 events with two groups qualifying for Youth National Championships: women’s pair as gold medal winners and women’s light-weight four as silver medals winners. The title of state champion and gold medals went to the women’s pair for the third year in a row. The men’s freshmen four gold medal win was the fifth year a Port Rowing squad won that title. Men’s Head Coach and Director of Rowing, Michiel Bartman describes the freshmen race, “It was very exciting to see the Freshman 4 dominating both the trial and their final. With powerful strokes these young men walked away from the competition to win with more than 10 seconds on second place.”
Other notable wins went to the Men’s Varsity 4 who placed third overall, taking a bronze medal. Bronze medals in club category also went to the Men’s Second Varsity 8. Completing the women’s showings, the girls Varsity Quad, featuring no rowers from the Varsity 4s or 8, posted an eighth-place finish in the A final. The women’s Junior 4+ was able to post a club silver finish in one of the traditionally deeper events. Women’s Head Coach Isa Rahman explains, “Our Girls varsity 8+, featuring no girls from the Varsity 4+, was able to row to a seventh place overall and fourth place among all clubs. Racing against the top boats of other programs in state. The result in the 8 is most encouraging as we had three freshmen and one sophomore in the boat and being more competitive than we have been in the past.”
The state championships is a qualifying event for Youth Nationals to be held June 6-9 in Benderson Park in Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida. The prestigious regatta allows two winners from each state in each category. Port Rowing will send representatives for the women’s pair and the women’s lightweight 4 this year.
While a successful spring season at Port Rowing draws to a close, registration for Summer Rowing Camps is open. Summer camps are available for rising 7–12 graders both high performance with travel for competition and novice, developmental training for those new to rowing. Multiple choices are available for adult recreational and master rowers. The unique inclusion rowing team provides opportunities for teens with special needs to reap the rewards of rowing and team participation. Visit www.portrowing.org for schedules and to register.
Submitted by Port Rowing