The Dublin Crew finished their season with two championship regattas. First, the boys varsity four of Quinn Wilson, Neil Griffin, Wyatt Switzer, A.J. Lee and coxswain Laura Coffin traveled to Philadelphia to compete in the Stotesbury Regatta. The Stotesbury is the biggest high school regatta in the world, and it includes over 5,000 athletes racing on the Schuylkill River. The team was intimidated, and also inspired, by the size and scope of this rowing event. The regatta begins with a time trial to sort out the boats and narrow down the competitors. In the boys senior four division, there were 54 teams and only the top 18 would advance out of the time trial to the semi-final round. The boys knew that this would be a difficult challenge to meet since Dublin was the smallest school competing at this regatta, and since most of the other teams row year round. In a great race, the crew finished 15th in the time trial and earned the chance to race in the semis. There was a crowd estimated at 100,000 on the day of the semis, and they gave their best effort in their race. They fell short of making the finals, but they knew that they had raced harder than ever before and learned valuable lessons about how to race at the next level.
After de-rigging their boat and loading it on the truck (many thanks to Andy Hungerford for driving this truck and supporting the team!), they had to make the seven hour drive back to school, sleep a few hours, and then wake up early the next morning with the rest of the program to compete in the Granite State Championship Regatta. The entire squad of 45 rowers traveled up north of Hanover to race on the Connecticut River against six other teams. Every athlete on the team had the chance to compete in some event, and Dublin had great success. Every boat earned a place in the finals, showing the depth and quality of talent in this year's squad. The boys and girls novice boats each finished second, the boys third varsity fours raced well in their event, the boys second varsity boat finished second and the girls second varsity boat won their event. The boys varsity boat was clearly out of gas by the time they raced in their final, finishing fourth. The girls varsity boat had a thrilling race, finishing second by a few feet. When the dust settled from all this racing, the Dublin team as a whole, based on their overall performance, won the Team Championship Trophy by only one point. It was a total effort, and every boat and every athlete contributed to this exciting outcome. And once again thanks is due to the kitchen who fed us our early morning breakfast, to parents who brought food and drinks for the rowers, and to Norm Bergeron who drove the trailer and helped out the crews at this regatta.
The boats are now back in the Steele Boathouse, the oars are neatly in their racks, and the season is officially over. The rowers can look back with pride at their accomplishments in this short, spring season, and the underclassmen will form the core of a growing and enthusiastic group of rowers at Dublin School next year!