Young crews pro­vide sta­ble fu­ture

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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.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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