Young crews provide stable future
and traditional sounds of Up the Pond played over the loud speakers, attention turned away from the concessions and towards the second longest continuous sporting event in North America.
Truly, the regatta was the main event of a week of activities that included paint ball, a teddy bear picnic and a mini-regatta.
Organizers said they thought the event was a success.
“It was fantastic,” said Joanne Taylor.
Each singular event leading up the Regatta could have been considered a success according to organizers.
“Every event was well attended,” said Taylor.
She did mention that the planned drive-in theatre could not go ahead because of wind conditions at the pond.
All week, Taylor said they were worried about the wind.
“We weren’t expecting the fog,” she said.
The fog may have been a blessing in disguise for the younger crews rowing in the regatta.
Their races got pushed to Sunday, which saw much better weather for the younger rowers. There was no wind to battle and the waters were calmer. Taylor called Sunday a “success.” “A couple of people who rowed years ago got the chance to get into the boat after the races Sunday,” she said.
Coxswain of the year
If you were there for the majority of the races on Regatta weekend, you might have noticed one man going out on the water more than anyone else, save for a select few coxswain.
Lenny Williams, who led eight crews up and down the pond over the weekend, captured the Clarence Simmons Memorial award as the coxswain of the year at the end of Sunday’s races.
“It’s an honour to have been nominated,” he said. “I really appreciate it. I had tears in my eyes.”
Making it more special was the opportunity to share the award with his brother, Clarence, and father, Lenny Williams Sr., whom Lenny Jr. had coxswained with in an earlier race. “It meant a lot,” said Lenny Jr. He has worked out t this summer alone, taking 381 “spins in the boat.”
“I really enjoy it,” said Lenny Jr.
He figures this year was his busiest one at the regatta.
Taylor said there was not a more deserving person than Lenny Jr.
“Its not hard to go into the lake any day and find Lenny there,” she said.
Day after day, he can be found at the pond between the hours of 4 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
All of Lenny Jr.’s crews captured medals.
In fact, his R.Tetford and Son senior ladies rowing crew captured the first gold medal for Harbour Grace crews at this year’s regatta.
“It’s another moment for the scrapbook,” he said.
Louise Marshall captured the Philomena Sheppard Memorial award as the oarswomen of the year as the top female rower this season.
Future looks bright
Of the 36 local crews that competed at this year’s regatta, the youngest crews are the pride and joy of event organizers.
It showed Sunday, as family mem- bers flocked to see little Jimmy and Susie feather their oars out on the waters.
Boasting six crews in the squirt boys and girls divisions, the future looks promising for this event.
Lenny Jr., himself, coxswained the youngest boys crew in Harbour Grace, the Baccalieu Trail Animal Hospital — Jordan Baker, Darien Meadus, Connor Pynn, Devon McCarthy, Jonathan Butler and Jacob Downing.
“That’s the future of the regatta,” he said of both the squirt girls and boys divisions.