Up here in northern Vermont, it isn’t often that we have a regatta in our backyard. In fact, there aren’t even many opportunities to learn to row, or to row on a regular basis. But in the last few years, the Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC) has been offering “Community Rowing” twice a week throughout the summer and into September on Big Hosmer Pond, in Craftsbury, Vermont. Several Concept2 employees have taken advantage of this opportunity.
Community Rowing welcomes interested folks of all ages and levels of experience and ability. COC provides the boats, oars, and safety launches. The program is coached by members of the Craftsbury Green Racing Project (GRP), a team of post-collegiate rowers who are training for international competition at the highest level. In fact, three of them just competed at the World Championships in South Korea in late August.
This past weekend was the 2nd annual Oktoberfest weekend at COC, featuring three different athletic events, cider pressing and a Bavarian-themed Oktoberfest dinner. One of the events was “Henley-on-Hosmer”—a head-to-head rowing tournament modeled after the original Royal Henley Regatta. As the community rowers gained in speed and confidence over the course of the summer, several of them decided to make Henley-on-Hosmer their training goal. The twice weekly sessions began to include intervals and race pieces; and the coaching become more focused and intense!
On Henley day, the racing included at least six community rowers (including one Concept2 employee, Maddie Smerin), 17 GRP rowers, 2 GRP Rowing alums, 1 GRP biathlete, 2 Concept2 founders, and several more rowers from around New England! Brackets were designed to give everyone at least two races; the race distances got shorter with each successive bracket. Prizes were wooden beer steins, handmade by several of the GRP athletes. It was a great way to end the season of Community Rowing, and there is already talk of attending more races next summer!