Last weekend, a group of 10 youth rowers from our High School Community Rowing program, held on Wednesdays after school, traveled to Boston, MA, to compete in the Icebreaker, the northeast regional youth open water rowing championships. For many, it was their first Icebreaker, but for the others, it was their chance to defend a title. In 2015, VCB dominated the coxed fours and brought home the first ever Icebreaker perpetual trophy. Like the Stanley Cup, the winners have to bring the trophy back and defend it the following year. 3 returning rowers brought the trophy all the way from VCB and proudly handed it off to race organizer Lory Newmeyer with the intention of winning it back.
This year, the VCB coaches and captains decided to enter their two crews to different ranks, one First Fours, or varsity, and one Second Fours, or junior varsity. The rowers stretched, shed layers and put on lifejackets when their races were going to begin.
Exhausted after their two sprints (the varsity crew even had three!), the VCB rowers had a short break for quesadillas provided by kind volunteers before the hotly anticipated nautical mile event. After all the boats were lined up, the horn was blown and the fours were off. About a minute later, the starting horn was blown for the pilot gigs. Then only 7 minutes later they began rolling across the finish line. Out of 20 boats – 7 fours and a whopping 13 sixes – VCB’s varsity crew was the second of all to cross the finish line!
Finally, the results were released. VCB’s second four took 3rd place in the sprints with a time of 13m18s, lagging behind Harbor School’s 11m46s. They rowed the nautical mile in 9m59s, again taking 3rd place and lagging behind Harbor School’s 8m12s. VCB’s first four had a total time of 16m16s in the sprints, losing to Sound School’s 14m21s. Finally, they completed the nautical mile in 7m56s, a time to be proud of, but not quick enough to beat Sound School’s 7m41s. A big congratulations to fearless coxswains Richard Liang and Inhyuk Jun and mighty rowers Kenny Lin, Kallista Tong, Cindy Lin, Leo Au-Yeung, Lillian Chan, Jessy Feng Han, David Chan and Sion Yang! And thank you to Phil Yee and Mary Nell Hawk for traveling to Boston to help run the race more smoothly!