Each summer Row New York hosts a summer regatta. This year, we hosted the Row New York Community Regatta. The regatta was particularly near and dear to us because it brought together participants from all across our organization.
Many know that Row New York is home to competitive rowing programs for youth, who train with us year-round; upwards of 500-700 hours annually. Our community is also comprised of adaptive and para-rowers, who participate in our competitive and recreational para-rowing programs. Additionally, our wonderful masters rowers join us for both the recreational and competitive teams.
Bringing this diverse group together for one cause, to row together, was quite remarkable. The event spoke to Row New York’s favorite tagline, “pulling together to push ahead,” or the idea that regardless of background or ability, we are all unified as rowers.
With over 15 events throughout the day, every participant had a chance to race down the Harlem River. The day kicked off with the women’s masters 8 race, followed by the Row New York girls 4+, the Masters men’s 2x, and competitive para-rowing. Coaches were proud of the middle school students who handled racing in an 8 like pros, and the strength and grace of the girl’s varsity 8, who will represent us at the Canadian Henley in following weeks.
Perhaps one of the most memorable moments was the middle school barge battle. With Row New York staff called in to fill extra seats, the students became concerned. They were about to race a barge full of big adults! It turned out they had nothing to fear. As the adults worked to get their oars in synch (some more than others!), the middle school barge pulled ahead almost immediately. Fellow student-athletes watched from the dock and got a good laugh watching the whole scene play out. Ultimately, the middle school barge smoked Row New York staff, bringing home a celebratory win against the grown-ups.
The last race of the day was the Community 8 Dash (500m). The race boasted representatives from all of our programs mixed into each boat to showcase the entire spectrum of the Row New York community. Many of our masters rowers walked away excited to have had the opportunity to row with Row New York’s youth and adaptive athletes. Overall, it was incredible to watch each team working together seemingly easily.
With another successful summer regatta, we look forward to this weekend’s Philadelphia Youth Regatta and the Canadian Henley in early August.