Crews from four high school rowing teams competed in the tenth annual VCB Youth Race at Pier 40 on Saturday. Crews came from near and far: Sound School from New Haven, Benjamen Banneker High School from Clinton Hill Brooklyn, Harbor School from Governors Island, and VCB’s own Stuyvesant High School/VCB Rowing.
Sound School won in both the Women’s and Mixed Crew divisions but it was a grand day for everyone who rowed and volunteered.
Phil’s 2017 Race Report:
The VCB Youth Race was won by the Sound School’s “Wallaby Way” team (19:20) over Harbor School’s “Shark Attack” team (21:00), Sound School’s “Pink Unicorns” (22:10) took 3rd Place and Stuyvesant’s “Team W” (22:21) came in 4th , Another Sound School team “Ho Ho Ho Your Boat” (22:56) finished 5th.
The Girls Race was shorter and another Sound School Team “Kiss my Stern” (13:07) edged Harbor Schools “Lil Boat”(13:16). Just prior the result of the head to was reversed where “Lil Boat” finished ahead of “Kiss my stern” in the sprints the length of the pier. We had Twelve (12) Youth Crews at the race.
The day started with the Buoy Perimeter Race “Wallaby Way” (6:00.5) and “Shark Attack” (6:13.8) earned a bye in the Head to Head Sprints going directly into the finals.
In the Head to Head Sprints: “Team W” crushed Harbor Schools “Pebbles” advancing into the final; In the second head to head No one could catch Sound Schools “Pink Unicorns team” but the Stuyvesant “Peace Bread and Land” and Banneker “Warriors” tried the passive aggressive approach to no avail. Last head to head saw the composite (Harbor & Sound School) crew “Flaming Flamingos” And Harbor School’s “Wave Breakers” utilize a fire and water strategy that wasn’t enough to catch the Sound School’s “Ho Ho Ho Your boat”.
The “Wave Breakers” had inadvertently cut a buoy in the race and were being assigned the worse time of the buoy perimeter race. They were almost in tears. I reassured them that as they did not finish first or second to gain a bye of the next round to go into the final mile race, they could redeem themselves in the Head to Head Sprints and make it into the final mile race. They came in second in their sprint race. Trying to gain an edge: A Sound School rower asked if she can row Starboard Stroke at first I said why not. Then I thought about it where the pin hole would be smaller (lack of use) and the pin would sit higher thus reducing the chance of the ring becoming undone. So I said no, not giving an edge to anyone; Another rower asked if there was an intermediate category where they could win. The most heartening was for weeks this kid from Stuyvesant was basically a younger loner that was not accepted by the older kids. Other Stuyvesant Students in Cox training sat away from him and Sundays they didn’t acknowledge him much. He volunteered to work the race as he was not chosen for a crew. Race day came and one of the Stuyvesant racers cancelled couldn’t make it. Our Volunteer suddenly was part of the crew and was accepted as one of their own. He was smiling and interacting with his newly found friends.
The race preparation started a week prior as the Burgers and Hot Dogs were brought in with soda, with Phil and Mary Nell involved. Henry putting the final touches on the sound system. Dave C. fixing the rowing equipment and repairing JML. The Davit winch motor burnt out on Thursday with Henry and Frank making emergency repairs the next day. Sally made a Costco run on Friday with Lissa. Phil helping unload at Pier 40 and Mackie wipe down surfaces, moved heaters, helped organize and store the goods. On the morning of the race Lissa and Sally made the Clam Chowder and Frank to pick up the Bagels. Pablo, Ka Ming, Cillian were there early to push the boats out and launch boats with helpful Stuyvesant students. Ana and Harbor School mom cut the bagels and set up Coffee and Breakfast table. There was a bit of drama where the pins and rings couldn’t be found in the boats found due to a communication issue saw Pablo making rings. Alex, Cillian, Kim, Juan (Harbor Alumni) and Marcel worked the docks. Mary Nell started registration of the teams. Paul worked the leaderboard perfectly preparing it neatly. Judges were Armand, Deborah, Mary Nell and Cillian. Paul joined them for the final race where he labeled the five timers operated by three people for the final race. Paul also created the attached the leaderboard results. Mike was the Master of Ceremonies who had fun with the names of the crews. Syed (Harbor School Alumni) came with a chase boat and Crew, was the race starter for the Head to Head sprints, and served as the final races turn markers. Brendan and Aaron arrived in Harbor Schools big boat just to standby in case of an emergency.
Ingo arrived put out a buoy that was missing on the perimeter course and attached fenders on the turning buoys in the chase boat later had Sally (taking pictures) and Sound School’s Jeff Alpert. Ana Transitioned to cutting and dicing Tomatoes and lettuce. Dave P. gravitated to the BBQ grill and started flipping burgers as Roger from the Downtown Boathouse and Pablo were ready to assist. Paul calculated the combined times on the leaderboard. The race went into the second segment the Head to Head elimination. We had a representative from each organization at the finish line to determine the winner, Cillian/Armand were VCB’s representative. As the day went on it got warmer that people watching started shedding layers, the race was running like a well-oiled machine. Hans and Margert joined to help clean up and sweep inside the boat house. It was fun and warm, everyone had a good time. We must have had over 100 people there as all 90 hot dogs and 90 Burgers were consumed with a call with a call for more.
Want to thank all the incredible people who volunteered their time to make this event a success.
Armand, Sally and Deborah still had energy and were seen pushing a boat to the Ear Inn 200th anniversary.