Rookie re­ceives regatta’s coxswain award

Amy Durn­ford wants to see Har­bour Grace regatta grow and thrive

The Compass - - SPORTS - BYMELISSA JENK­INS Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

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.”

Recog­ni­tion

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.”

Photo by Melissa Jenk­ins/The Com­pass

Amy Durn­ford was named the coxswain of the year for 2014 in Har­bour Grace.

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