Rookie receives regatta’s coxswain award
Amy Durnford wants to see Harbour Grace regatta grow and thrive
It has been six years since Amy Durnford of Harbour Grace started taking her daughter Lauryn to Lady Lake to become a member of a children’s rowing team.
At that time, Durnford was one of more than a dozen parents who were encouraged to help start a children’s team to compete in the town’s annual regatta. The plan was to boost participation in the province’s second longest sporting even that is now 152 years running.
The regatta was not an event Durnford was interested in attending for many years, until Lauryn competed.
“It was the first time I had been at the regatta since I was a kid,” she told The Compass at the boathouse Monday, July 28, two days after the event.
The following year, Durnford began rowing with a senior ladies crew. Her other daughter, Jenna, started rowing a few years later.
For five years Durnford has been a member of a rowing team, but this year she decided to take on a new role — coxswain.
“I’ve wanted to do it for a couple of years,” she explained. “They were a fun crew. These girls were perfect for me.”
This was a big year for the novice coxswain. She not only helped her team, Dave’s Tire Mart, earn a silver medal, she went home with the prestigious coxswain of the year award.
When her name was called late in the evening July 26, tears of happiness ran down her cheeks.
With Durnford being chosen over seasoned coxswains like Bud Chafe, and coxswains of championship calibre teams like Lenny Williams, she was shocked at the honour. And her modesty had her questioning if it should have been her.
But the overwhelming support she received after the announcement made her proud to be the recipient.
Fellow Dave’s Tire Mart teammate Georgina Adams was also at the lake when Durnford was discussing her win, and she was very supportive of her friend and coxswain.
“(The award) was really well deserving,” Adams said, sitting next to Durnford on the stage beside the boathouse.
Organizers and rowers discussed the award after the announcement July 26, with several noting how Durnford’s dedication, passion and want for the event to succeed added to the decision.
When asked about how she felt about those kind words, Durnford shed a few more tears, adding, “I’m very passionate about this event.”
Amy Durnford was named the coxswain of the year for 2014 in Harbour Grace.