Dublin crew wrapped up the 2015 fall rowing season this past Saturday in Methuen, MA. The wildcats attended the annual Merrimack Chase, a regatta hosted by Essex Rowing on the banks of the Merrimack River. The event is Dublin’s autumn season-ender, and typically only attracts between 150-200 entries with about 10-14 clubs present.
The rowers would race across several events that day, including the women’s u19 ltwt 1x, men’s u19 2x, women’s u19 4+, and men’s u19 4+. This year would also begin what hopefully will remain a season-closing tradition: having all 10 fall athletes face each other in friendly competition in the mixed 4+!
The day began with Tatum Wilson racing in the women’s u19 lightweight 1x. She was the only entry in her category, but would have plenty of other competition on the race course, as there were multiple entries in the women’s u19, u17, master’s, and open singles. She would also be one of only a handful of events that raced the entire 5000 meter course that morning; the race officials decided to shorten the course due to powerful winds. Wilson had a solid race, having made marked improvements in her sculling since the beginning of the fall season, and managed to prevent anyone from passing her along the way down to the finish line. She finished with a time of 26:32 in a strong headwind, and placed 3rd out of all the women’s singles that were present!
Next up was the boys’ u19 2x racing in a field of 7 boats. The combination of Will Stanhope (stroke) and G.H. Werowinski (bow) would race the now shortened, 2800 meter race course against 3 entries from Riverside, 2 from CRI, and 1 from Methuen. The wildcats also started first in the queue, so they had the advantage of unimpeded water ahead, and a full view of the field behind. The boys had a strong showing, and were able to reach the finish without being passed, but realized that a boat or two behind them closed the gap. Our boys finished with a time of 12:39 and took 3rd place overall! They managed to barely edge CRI A, who came in 4th by .2 seconds! Meanwhile, the fast Riverside A and B doubles took 1st and 2nd respectively.
Due to a regatta schedule change and coaching error, the girls’ u19 4+ missed their race time, but were still allowed to make a run of the course. The lineup of Zoe Hewitt (stroke), Michelle Zhong (3-seat), Lilly Campbell (2-seat), Tatum Wilson (bow), and Phoebe Glaude (coxswain) actually launched simultaneously with the boys’ 4+ lineup of G.H. Werowinski (stroke), Will Stanhope (3-seat), Matt Coffin (2-seat), John Scriven (bow), and Joey Hynes (coxswain); both boats proceeded to the start line together.
In the men’s u19 4+, the wildcats started 2nd to last in line and had plenty of boats to chase down for motivation. They managed to space themselves out from Essex B, who was behind them, and gain significant ground on Riverside, who was directly in front of them. Riverside, in turn, had made up a large amount of distance on Brewster, who was in front of them. The official results came in with Dublin taking 2nd in a time of 11:33, with Riverside right behind in 11:41! Essex A took 1st with a time of 11:18. The girls’ 4+ had a good run of the course as well, and fended off all but the fastest men’s novice 4+, while actually passing through a CRI men’s masters 4+ along the way; they finished the course in a time of 13:44 which placed them 2nd overall in timing in the women's u19 4+ behind Essex A.
The final event of the day, the mixed open 4+, pitted wildcat vs. wildcat in a grudge match to end all of the speculation over who would win: the lean-and-scrappy, technically adept lightweights, or the powerful, engine-room, bruiser heavyweights? Coxswain Phoebe Glaude won the coin toss to decide which boat she would command, and placed all of her hopes and dreams in the lightweight lineup of G.H Werowinski (stroke), John Scriven (3-seat), Zoe Hewitt (2-seat), and Tatum Wilson (bow). Coxswain Joey Hynes was undeterred, however, and confidently launched his heavyweight crew of Matt Coffin (stroke), Will Stanhope (3-seat), Michelle Zhong (2-seat), and Lilly Campbell (bow); as a side note, the heavyweight crew would also be rowing in and defending the infamous bucket rig. At this point, there was much friendly banter on the dock, followed up by a half dozen faux-inspirational coach speeches, and then the two boats were off to the starting line. From the vantage point at the finish line, it was apparent that this could be anyone’s race! The lightweights, who had started first in line, were well out in front. Meanwhile, the heavyweight boat, who had started 3rd in line behind a CRI entry, had passed CRI and was closing the distance on the lighties. The lights, at this point, were desperately trying to fend off the advances of the heavies and looking for the finish line; the heavies, in turn, were foaming at the mouth to try and snare the lights… this was racing at its finest! There could only be one victor, and in this David vs. Goliath duel, it was once again the slighter, scrappier contender that came away with the victory! The lights finished in a time of 12:24, to the heavies’ time of 12:32… a mere 8 seconds of separation!
This concluded the Merrimack Chase, as well as the 2015 rowing season for Dublin School Crew. It was not just a great fall, but a great year of fast racing, immense technical improvement, nail-biting excitement, and incredible fun had by student-athletes, coaches, and parents alike.
The coaching staff would like to thank the community for their constant and energetic support of the program over the years. Now, with the completion of Dublin’s first boathouse, a new chapter in the school’s rowing history will begin in the early spring of 2016. I, along with many others, look forward to seeing what new heights that this small-school team can achieve in the coming seasons and years. Thank you all again for your support. It’s been a wonderful experience to be able to coach your children and watch them grow.