by Matt Logue, Director of Community Rowing
On August 13th, Row New York’s Competitive Masters departed for Camden, NJ to finish their summer racing season at the 2015 USRowing Masters National Championships. This regatta was the largest event ever hosted by USRowing with over 2,000 crews from 149 clubs competing in 202 events over the course of the 4-day regatta. Teams came from as far as San Diego to compete in this historic event, making this one of the most competitive championship regattas ever!
Row New York competed in 12 events during the regatta with over 20 team members participating in at least one of the 12 racing crews. Each crew rowed well against very tough competition in all events and their individual progress as rowers was evident throughout the regatta.
Four of the 12 crews battled their way into the finals over the course of the weekend. On Thursday, the Womens B 4x of Meredith Avery, Marianne Bers, Christy Loper and Claudia Loeber finished in 5th place, 10 seconds ahead of the next boat in the race.
On Sunday, the final day of racing, three crews from Row New York took to the water. The Row New York Mixed C 8+ (Victoria Farr, Claudia Loeber, Steve Salee, Simon Billinge, Craig Fithian, Carl Taeusch, Christy Loper, Marianne Bers, and guest coxswain Ashley Koontz) started the day with a race of 5 crews battling bow to bow from start to finish with only the top three spots advancing to the finals. At the finish, only eight-tenths of a second separated 2nd and 4th place, with Row New York securing the 2nd place time and a spot in the afternoon finals!
About an hour later, Simon Billinge, Steve Salee and Craig Fithian, fresh from their 8 race, joined up with teammate Thomas Lutazi to race in the Mens D 4x heat. In another race from which only three would advance, the crew found themselves in another bow to bow battle to qualify. A strong sprint put the Row New Yorkers into 3rd place at the finish, thirteen-one hundredths of a second ahead of the 4th place crew.
The Mixed C 8+ and Mens D 4x joined the Women’s A 4x in the Sunday afternoon finals. All 3 crews gave it their all in the finals, leaving every bit of energy and strength out on the water, finishing with 5th place and two 6th place finishes respectively. It was a strong finish to an incredible championship experience and summer season for the Competitive Masters!
The Finish, as it relates to the rowing stroke, is the final part of the drive sequence. RowPerfectUK notes that the finish is when, “the boat is moving at it fastest and the blades change from applying pressure against the water in one direction to moving freely in the air in the opposite direction.” A strong finish ensures a smooth transition into the next stroke with little to no disruption of the momentum achieved on the previous stroke. It aptly describes where our masters will be for the fall: ready to build on the amazing momentum achieved this summer!
With the USRowing Masters Nationals now complete, the Competitive Masters are shifting their focus to the fall season. Newly named head coach, Claudia Loeber, will lead a hungry group of Masters into the head racing season where the program looks to learn and grow from their summer racing experiences.