Housatonic River, Shelton, CT - The youth rowers had a solid showing with two top-ten finishes on Saturday at the Head of the Housatonic on the Housatonic River, home of Yale's storied rowing program. The regatta is hosted by New Haven Rowing Club. The 2.7 mile course is notable for its lack of bridges and that crews have to wet launch from a sandy beach. The regatta included fierce competition from the Northeast with such powerhouses as the Cambridge Boat Club, Greenwich, and New Caanan.
Gabriele Welp raced the varsity girl's single sculls, the first time RRA has ever entered the event at this regatta and finished fifth in a field of 19 with a time of 18:59.8. First-place went to Cambridge (17:29.7) and Greenwich took both second (18:24.9) and third-place (18:50.9).
RRA's eighth-place finish improved on last year's 12th-place effort in the varsity boy's quadruple sculls with Anthony Rostek Tappan Zee '20 (stroke), Anthony Feteira Clarkstown South '19 (three), Billy Grippi Tappan Zee '20 (two), and Ryan Almond Clarkstown North '20 (bow). The crew posted a time of 15:26.4 among a field of 19 crews.
The team also entered the varsity girl's quadruple sculls which finished 12th out of 20 in 17:01.2.
The two boats which finished top-10 earned an automatic bid for next year’s Head of the Housatonic.
The fall season focus is on building endurance and improving technique. The style of racing during the fall is called head racing, and takes place in a time-trial format, where the boats race against the clock, rather than directly against each other. Head racing also does not separate out the lightweight rowers from the openweights.
“It was a good way to gauge our mid-season progress and judge ourselves against some of the best crews in the Northeast region,” said head coach Melissa Boyd. "Based on these results I think our rowers are eager to see where their continued training will take them."
RRA will turn their attention to the next full-squad competition on October 15 for Head of the Passaic in Lyndhurst, NJ.