Come Boating!, Belfast’s community boating program, rowed to first place in the pilot gig class, and 7th overall at the 35th annual Snow Row in Hull Massachusetts! Rowing the “Malcolm G”, Come Boating’s traditionally designed pilot gig, the men’s team battled the cold, a stiff wind, and 17 pilot gigs to win the first race of the season with a time of 33:56. The race, which featured over 85 entries in a variety of boats including: kayaks, surf-skis, whaleboats ocean-shells, gigs, and other work-boats, also saw another entry from Belfast: a coxed work-boat double, the “Margalo”, rowed by Wes and Willy Reddick, coming in with a time of 53:22.
The Snow Row is known for it’s “Le Mans” style start, where rowers line up on the beach, bows in, and sprint to their boats at the sound of the starting cannon. The chaos and spectacle of this start caused the crew of the “Malcolm G” some trouble as they collided with their biggest competition, team Saquish from Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the “Mike Jenness Sr.”. Quick action by both boats avoided any damage and the Belfast team gained a slight advantage to start the 3.75 mile race around Hull harbor. Below freezing temperatures and stiff head winds buffeted the racers as they made their way around Sheep Island, avoiding a sand bar, hidden rocks, and other boats to make the turn back to Hull beach. With the wind now aiding the crew of the “Malcolm G”, they were able to finish strong, reaching a top speed of just over 7 knots and winning for the fourth year in a row!
The crew of the “Malcolm G” was: Coxswain – Rowan Walauski, John Dillenbeck, Kyffin Dolliver, Kevin Brown, Ethan Shaw, Greg Stafford, and Jonathan Fullford. Next up for the Belfast rowers will be the Essex River Race, May 10. Come Boating! is a non-profit, volunteer-run, community based organization that offers anyone the chance to sail or row, more information is available at www.comeboating.org.