More than 50 athletes and nine adults traveled to Camp Bob Cooper in South Carolina for a week of rowing over February break. We picked up our two newest boats (matching Vespoli wing-riggered fours) on the way down and immediately put them to use. We returned anxious to start the spring racing season with a large group of returning juniors and seniors. Check out the schedule page and come see us race.
Top, many smiling faces, having survivied three-a-day practices in South Carolina. Bottom, Moms on Patrol, otherwise known as Kellie, Ginger and Joanie, who kept us healthy and happy through the week.
For the seventh season in a row, ever since our move to the Whittemore Boathouse in Concord, over one hundred athletes participated during the fall of 2012, the start of Concord Crew's thirteenth year. Returning coaches Jay, Mike, and Charmie were joined by graduates Lauren Shattuck ('12), who helped with the women, and Ben Broadbent ('08) who coachd the novice men. We attended the usual slate of races (Head of the Merrimack, Textile River Regatta, NH Champs, Head of the Charles, and the season ending Head of the Fish in Saratoga.
Performance highlights included the Women Varsity 8 (above) racing the Head of the Charles fast enough to qualify for a guaranteed slot in next year's regatta against, literally, the fastest programs in the country. The women's novice 4, the last Concord boat on the water at the last race of the season, captured a coveted fish-head trophy for winning their event at the Head of the Fish. The novice boys came within seconds of top-tier CRI and a medal at the Fish, clipping almost 40 seconds off the margin from an earlier race. And there were many impressive performances, and medals won, by many other boats throughout the season.
The big news off-the-water was the christening of two boats. The red Resolute 8 acquired last fall largely with donated money (thank you Anonymous!) was named the "MacIntosh" after John MacIntosh (right). And a Vespoli 4 bought this fall also with donated funds (thank you another Anonymous!) was christened the "Norma Weeks," the mother of Warren Billings (left). Warren and John, both long time board members and each the parent of two crew athletes, belong to that very small group who are responsible for the very existence of Concord Crew (those early years were touch-and-go) and for the way Concord Crew has since flourished. Each time we row the MacIntosh and the Norma Weeks, each time we look at the boathouse and all the other boats and equipment inside, and each time we see over a hundred young athletes on the water, we owe Warren, John, and the other early Friends of Concord Crew, a heartfelt "thank you." Thank you, Warren. Thank you, John.
The spring of 2012 will be remembered for terrific weather. The first week of the season in mid-March, usually reserved for erg training while we wait for winter to leave, instead greeted us with 80 degrees and sun. We hit the water immediately and Mother Nature continued to smile on us all season. An unusually large number of seniors blessed both the men and women's squads, leading to competitive races all season. Some results included the women's victory at the Crimson Cup. Although the men were edged out by a surprisingly fast Bedford crew, they avenged the loss at the year-ending Sleigh Cup where the Concord men earned second place behind Hanover, nipping Bedford on the strengh of a deeper squad includng wins by the third and fourth varsity 8s.
Four members of the Class of 2012 have been recruited to row in college. From left to right, Marissa Landray will row at the University of Rhode Island, Nick Muccio will compete for Bates College, Logan Connor is headed to Boston University, and Mohan Mandali will cox for the University of Wisconsin. We wish them luck.
One hundred and fifteen athletes participated the fall 2011 campaign, Concord Crew's twelfth year and the start of our third year in the new boathouse. Two boats of novice women, two boats of novice men, all but one of the varsity men returned from the first three boats last spring, and the varsity women started with almost five eights.
The racing schedule for the fall included the usual races in Hooksett (the NH Championships), Lowell (the Textile River Regatta) and Saratoga Springs (the Head of the Fish). We held our first head race in Concord, a low key affair with hope of expanding in the future. And Concord Crew returned one women's eight and one men's eight to the Head of the Charles in Boston. Results were excellent (you can find them on the Schedule/Results page). Lots of athletes won lots of medals.
The big news of the fall was the arrival of two new shells -- two gently used Ultralightweight Resolute eights. The boats are great for our smaller athletes (lightweight boys and most of the women). One is bright orange and the other is Concord High crimson. Neither has a name yet, althouth the kids dubbed the orange boat the "Fi-Hi" for its resemblance to the color of a fire hydrant. (Warren proposed "Dot" because it is the same color as DOT trucks.) Given the bullet-proof construction of these boats, they will be around for many years.
We finished the Spring 2011 season with a bang. After mixed, but steadily improving, results during our first races in Saratoga, Lowell and Northfield/Mount Hermon, we entered the Crimson Cup against Manchester Central and Bedford with an eye toward improving on last year's strong performance. We exceeded those high expectations and swept all the varsity events, a first in the 10 year history of the Crimson Cup. The novice women also won. The fast racing continued in our last race, the Sleigh Cup in Hanover against all the New Hampshire public school programs (which has grown to six teams: Concord, Central, Hanover, Bedford, Lebanon and Oyster River), plus the Boston Latin women. The Concord women won the Sleigh Cup for the first time with strong performances throughout the squad (second place for the varsity women, and first place for the second and third varsities). The men finished a close second to a fast Hanover crew, finishing second in each race. Pictured above receiving the Sleigh Cup from race founder (and Concord Crew patron) Bert Whittemore are, from left to right, cosxwains Sarah Koppelkam and Lauren Shattuck, and women's captain Leigh Harrington.
We had just under 120 athletes registered for the spring of 2011, the fourth season in a row over the century mark and our largest number ever.
Concord Crew returned to Camp Bob Cooper in South Carolina during February 2011 break for a week of rowing, rowing, and rowing some more. And, of course, karaoke at the Tater Creek Grill.
Concord Crew's first varsity men's and women's eights rowed in the 2010 Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge MA on October 24th. Participation in the world's largest two-day rowing event was an experience not likely to be forgotten by the athletes, coaches or family and friends. Above is a picture of the men emerging from the Eliot Bridge. Below is a link to a video of the women nearing the same area of the course. The women placed high enough to automatically qualify for next year's regatta.Women's Eight Approaching Eliot Bridge
During the fall of 2010 Concord Crew hosted a number of masters rowers from the Melbourne (Australia) University Boat Club. They trained out of our boathouse in preparation for the Head of the Charles, at which they won first place. The Aussies were pleased with the open nature of junior rowing (apparently rowing is limited to private schools down under), they showed our young athletes that rowing is truly a life-long sport, and that old guys can still row pretty fast. Below is a link to a practice with the Aussie's first eight -- all over 60 years old. The Concord Crew boys rowed the Head of the Charles wearing white MUBC hats given by their new friends (see photo above), and Concord coxswain Mohan steered the Aussie's second eight at the Charles, having been adopted for the weekend.Aussie first eight practices with Concord Crew
In the spring of 2010 Concord Crew christened its three newest eights, the Class of 2009 and the Philip J. Donovan, both new Vespolis, and the May-belle, a Resolute. We also acquired the previously named Zeetah, a lightly used Resolute, and we bought two WinTech pairs/doubles (thanks to a group of parents and friends who, on their own, bought these rower favorites). The Concord Crew fleet is ALMOST free of the old dinosaurs that kept us afloat during the early years when Concord Crew grew as fast as we could find boats.
We continue to focus on modernizing the lower end of the fleet so we can say a long overdue, but nonetheless sad, farewell to those old yellow Dirigos.
In the summer of 2010 Concord Crew played host to rowers from the St. Paul's School Class of 1965. To prepare for their reunion row on campus, two boats of remarkable men (SPS was a boys' school then) borrowed equipment and coxswains (including Brittany Catcher, above) from Concord Crew, donned brand new uniforms for their respective houses of Shattuck and Halcyon, and fine tuned their rowing skills for the big race. Concord crew thanks them all for the generous contribution they made after their visit.
Concord Crew strives to be a good neighbor to all of Concord's residents, including those who really are our next door neighbors -- the homeless who often live in the woods behind the boathouse. Concord Crew regularly collects food for the Friendly Kitchen, run by "Saint" Hope Butterworth.
Concord Crew graduates have rowed at many college programs, including Bates, Boston University, Hobart-William Smith, Roger Williams, Smith College, Tufts, UNH, University of Rhode Island, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wesleyan, Williams, and Yale University. Please send us news and details about your college careers to post here.