Come Boating!, Belfast’s community rowing organization, held it’s 14th Annual Regatta on Saturday, August 16, as part of the Belfast Harbor Fest. The race featured Cornish Pilot Gigs, a 32 foot log, 6 oared boat commonly used in Cornwall, England. In addition to the three Belfast gigs, five mor came from from Massachusetts: Hull Lifesaving Museum, Gloucester Gig Rowers, Team Saquish, and Shipman of Dartmouth. Various other small boats participated includied Adirondack Guide boats, canoes, dories, and kayaks.
The boats took off from the starting line in four groups in a staggered start, with the smaller boats in the first two, and the gigs in the last two groups. The 3.6 mile course begins of of the Belfast town dock, out to the “Monument”, across to the City Park, and finishing by the Boathouse Park gazebo.
A sunny day with light winds led to some fast times, with two course records for the mixed and women’s pilot gig teams. Best time overall was the Belfast mixed team in the “Belle Fast”, living up to it’s name with a time of 32:26, the team consisted of Liegh Dorsey, Edith Gawler, Bennett Konesni, Jim Bahoosh, Eric Mathews, Tanya Lubansky, and cox Linda Hurley. They were followed by the Belfast men’s team in the “Malcolm G” with a time of 32:46, with John Dillenbeck, Geir Gaseidnes, Kevin Brown, Ethan Shaw, Gergory Stafford, David Cuberly, and cox Rowan Walauski..
Hull Lifesaving Museum in the “Wndrose” with Michelle Conlon, Phil Ricci, Nol Bloomenthal, Steve Oeschger, Kristen Schlapp, George Hamilton, and cox Karyn Strauss, was third overall with a time of 34:20. In the most exciting match of the event, the Hull team had a great running battle with the Belfast women’s team in the “Selkie”, who had a time of 34:28, with Monica Piccinini, Amy Grant, Anne Halley, Tracy Cunning, Wiola Shaw, Susan Orsato, and cox Rick Fitzsimmons. The mixed Masters boat, the “Gannett”, from Gloucester came in next with a time of 36:19, with Peter Begley, Ted Cakounes, Bill Helmuth, John Lazarus, MarthaLazarus, Tom Pearce, and cox Bonnie Bruger.
The gigs were joined by other boats including Sumner Roberts in his Adirondack Guide boat with a time of 40:00, Terry Wescott and Justin Varney in their tandem canoe close behind with a time of 40:31, and Roberta Mclain in an outrigger canoe at 44:07. Other boats included George Hill in an Adirondack Guide boat, Wes and Willy Reddick in their two person Gunning dory “Margalo”, Richard Wills in a Swampscot dory, and Charlie Daniels, Susan Daniels, and Janet Holmes all in single kayaks.
Come Boating! is a community based, non-profit organization dedicated to giving everyone the chance to experience the beautiful waters of the Belfast bay in one of our three Cornish Pilot Gigs. There are rows offered every day of the week for every experience level and there is no cost. For more information, please visit our boat shed located at the Belfast landing, or visit www.comeboating.org.