VCB High School Crew: Angela Peng, Sophia Day, Puneet Johal, Mark Winter, Nafel Khan
On Saturday, June 9th, VCB sent a crew of High School Rowers to Boston to compete in the seventh annual Fort Point Channel Open sponsored by Hull Life Saving Museum
. The race attracts spectators and rowers from all over New England along with VCB from NYC. The race is open to all skill levels and Coxed-4 rowing craft. Teams compete head to head in a series of round-robin style heats. The course runs around the Boston Tea Party Museum ships, under bridges and around tight turns, ending in a sprint for the finish line in front of Martin Richard’s park next to the Boston Children’s Museum.
VCB fielded a crew of High School juniors and seniors with coxswain Sophia Day and Mark Winter, Angela Peng, Puneet Johal, and Nafel Khan at oars. Our youth crew came in an extremely close second place in the Seconds High School category out of four crews in the category, missing out on first place by a mere 7 seconds.
It was also one of our youth rower Nafel Khan’s birthdays who spent it racing for VCB. There was a small birthday celebration after the race ended.
On a cold, windy St. Patrick’s Day, the Village Community Boathouse sent two crews to represent to the 39th Annual Snow Row in Hull,Massachusetts. Snow Row is the Hull Lifesaving Museum’s signature race, featuring 3.75 miles of open water rowing and scenic
views. VCB sent an adult coxed four and a youth coxed four crew to brave the elements, and that they did.
Facing 18 mph winds with gusts over 30 mph, row organizers shortened the race course and eliminated several categories due to safety concerns. With canoes, kayaks, surfskis, and single rower craft stuck ashore, pilot gigs, Whitehall gigs, and livery and work boat doubles took to the seas. With winds making the traditional Le Mans-style running start a risky proposition, the participants prepared for a floating start. Even this precaution did not preclude traffic jams as boats jostled for position. After a minor collision with an overly ambitious pilot gig, our crews were off!
These were undoubtedly the roughest conditions any of us had ever rowed in. We set out against a headwind determined to push us backwards, and any forward progress was an accomplishment. Two foot seas crashed against our bows, sending bits of ice floes into our gigs. After rowing hard and not making much forward progress, our youth crew made the difficult
decision to turn around and return to the shore. It was nonetheless a valiant effort, as they were the only youth crew in the fixed seat coxed fours category who dared leave the beach. And theirs was not the only craft that decided to turn around or was instructed to do so by the rescue craft keeping a watchful eye on the race.VCB’s adult crew, through a combination of experience and stubbornness, continued to push onward into the gale force gusts. The first few waves came as a surprise, but as we approached the turning point of the course, there was nary a dry rower aboard. Perhaps motivated by the promise of warm shelter and a respite from the waves, our adult crew soldiered on to the midway marker and executed a harrowing turn, assisted by the elements.
With the wind at our backs, we made speedy return progress towards the beach and finished the two mile course in a time of 48:45, the fastest time in the adult fixed seat coxed fours category. Another race, another successful journey – especially now that we’ve finally warmed up!
The Whole VCB Crew
Two and a half VCB High School crews, chaperoned by Leo Au-Yeung traveled by bus to Boston’s Fort Point Channel to compete in Hull Lifesaving Museum’s Icebreaker, a youth race with over 240 rowers from all over New England.
VCB fielded one “first fours” crew of five (experienced rowers of four oared boats) – Kenny Lin, Kevin Liu, Angela Peng, Puneet Johal with coxswain Melina Tsai. Two more VCB high school rowers, Nafel Kahn & Inhyuk Jun, joined three Rhode Island rowers to form a “second fours” crew (less experienced rowers)
Both VCB crews came in second place in their respective categories. Crews were divided into categories according to experience/skill level and type of boat: Novice, Second and First crews of four-oared and six-oared boats.
The crews enjoyed Breakfast and Lunch served in the Barking Crab, which was closed to the public just for the race.
The course for the heats was challenging for VCB’s First Fours. The tide was rising, so course went out towards the direction of Boston Harbor instead of inland. Lots of twists and turns as crews navigated twice around the course.
The race culminated in the Nautical Mile: boats rowed or were towed a mile out into the harbor (VCB got towed). When the race started, the entire fleet of more than ten boats participating in the nautical mile sprint rowed their hearts out towards the finish line at the entrance to Fort Point Channel.
Special thanks to Leo Au-Yeung, High School Rowing Coordinator, for organizing and chaperoning.
Thanks to Eric Cerny for helping to fund the VCB crews
On Saturday, October 21st, two crews, one adult and one youth, made their way to Hull, Mass to compete in the 31st Annual Head of Weir River Race, sponsored by The Hull Lifesaving Museum.
With more than 60 boats registered in 10 categories, the field was diverse and at times crowded with over 150 rowers from all over New England. The race is 5.5 miles long, beginning in the Weir River Estuary and ending on open water. The race course ran from West Corner (on the Hingham/ Hull/ Cohasset line), past Bumpkin Island, across Hull Bay, to the museum’s Windmill Point Boathouse at Hull Gut. The Weir draws coxed youth and adult rowers in gigs, single and double livery and workboats, currachs, and ocean shells, as well as experienced kayakers. In the “head of the river” format, boats kick-off the starting line at closely-timed intervals. Despite the stiff competition, VCB’s adult crew, Cox-4 Adult, rowing Warrior won in their category. The youth crew, rowing Gold Rush came in third, only seven seconds behind the second place Sound School boat, Hoda Jane and 20 seconds behind the winner.
Race Results: HERE
Thanks to Leo Au-Yeung, VCB’s High School Rowing Coordinator for organizing
Coxed 4 Youth:
Coxed 4 Adult:
The Whole VCB L2L Crew with First and Second Place Medals
Last Saturday, VCB transported two crews and two dory boats to Norwalk Ct. to compete in The Lighthouse To Lighthouse Race with a course running along 7 or 14 miles of open water around the Norwalk Islands on the Connecticut shore. The race is open to any seaworthy, human-powered craft but the competition included mostly paddlers in kayaks and surf skis. L2L is sponsored by Achilles International whose mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream running events in order to promote personal achievement. This is a great organization and Gary Willams, the MC made us feel most welcome.
There was one other wooden dory in a field of more that 120 rowers and paddlers, built by its rower, but it was a single. So the race lineup pitted VCB’s Adult Crew against its Youth Crew, competing against each other. Needless to say, the youth crew, in Gold Rush came in first despite going seriously off course. Since VCB’s two boats were the only ones in their class, they took first and second place. Everyone got a medal.
Special thanks to Gary Williams for organizing and working long and hard to include VCB. Thanks also to Leo Au-Yeung, VCB High School Coordinator for organizing the crews and Dave Clayton for wrangling the boats.
Dave Clayton (Cox), Andrew Leung, Jackie Chen, Angela Peng, Suresh Ramdhanie,
VCB Adult Crew Rowed Warrior, Stretch Gunning Dory
Gold Rush Crew: Melina Tsai (Cox), Kenny Lin, Leo Au-Yeung, Inhyuk Jun, Puneet Johal
VCB Youth Crew Rowed Gold Rush, Stretch Gunning Dory
Three Dory Boats on the Beach with lots of Kayaks and Surf Skiis
Dorys lining up with paddlers for the start of the race
Warrior Crossing the Finish Line
Gold Rush Crossing the Finish Line
Rolling the Dorys down the Pier 40 Walkway at the Crack of Dawn