Monday, November 05, 2012

2012 Pull-the-Plug Regatta

During the Men's Eight, McQuaid makes  move on the Fairport squad's boat.
Today was the final regatta of the fall season for my stepson Gregory and his boat mates on the McQuaid Crew team. Once again they were only registered to compete in a single race (Mens Varsity 8+ (A)), so had to hang around the site for roughly five hours prior to getting on the water. No worries though, as they saved one of their best efforts of the fall season for this last race. Each of the past four season's Gregory has rowed, the Pull the Plug Regatta in Pittsford, New York, has been the season concluding race. This being Gregory's senior, and therefore final, year made this a special one for he and his friends who have rowed together for a number of years now.

Launching for the last race of the day and the last of the senior rowers' fall season
The Mens Varsity 8+ (A) was the final race of the day. The weather had ranged from bad to downright wintry, but fortunately it had settled on simply "yucky" by the 1:45 p.m. launch time. The challenging thing about being as crew spectator is (other than those die-hards who bike along with the team on the course), there are few opportunities to see the competitive aspect of the sport. While nothing "exciting" is happening during the launch, it is a chance for family and friends to cheer for the boys before they row to the start and begin the race.

Some final words of advice from the coaches before setting off for the start.
Heading to the start... and out of visibility.
The boys making their move on the Fairport and Pittsford boats.
The fall crew season, unlike the spring, consists of races that are based solely on time, rather than the more exciting head-to-head racing. That does not mean, however, that the races lack any excitement at all. Despite not being head-to-head, it is possible to get a sense of how one's boat is doing by carefully noting the bow numbers and identifying those who one boat has either passed (and therefore gone much faster than). As one boat inches on another it is safe to assume that the boat "making the move" is likely to post a better time.
From atop a bridge not all pictures are as clear as one would like.
 The finish is much further down the canal so there is a bit of waiting around required before a victor is announced. This far this fall season, the boys have had a tough time against a Fairport boat that has had a surprisingly solid fall. Unfortunately, I did not wait for the results, but was proud to receive the text from my wife trumpeting that the McQuaid Mens Varsity 8+ (A) had won the race, earning a gold medal! A tremendous way to end an occasionally challenging fall, and a solid fall season high school "career" for the boat mates who will be moving on after the spring season.

For Gregory, it's on to his senior year competitive swim season!

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