Earlier this month, VCB was invaded by an army–or rather, a navy–of 65 French rowers from the Mediterranean port of Sete. They had shipped two of their traditional six-oared boats to Newark via container, and we helped them tow the boats to Liberty Landing in Jersey City, then row them across the Hudson to Pier 40.
On the morning of September 10, we squared off against them for a series of four short stake races. They kicked our derrieres in three of them–the men’s, women’s, and ‘staff’ (basically, their board of directors vs. ours). We won the fourth–the ‘masters’ event–but probably because we interpreted masters to mean “over 50” while they understood it to mean “over 60.”
But as the French say, ‘on s’en foue’–roughly, who cares? The main event was really lunch, a catered event featuring octopus pie, a specialty of Sete, and a fabulous array of French wines. There was a lot of speechifying, many awards and t-shirts handed out, and a heartfelt invitation to us to return the visit next year in Sete.
Afterwards we boarded their boats plus four of ours for a cruise to Liberty Island, which, after some resistance from the Coast Guard, we eventually managed to circumnavigate.
Merci a tous, et a la prochaine!