Port Rowing is making strides. Here's an update from Coach Steve Panzik.
Sept. 29 marked the beginning of Port Rowing’s second fall season. The team competed against several leading upstate crews in Saratoga on a cool and misty morning at the Tail of the Fish. Port Rowing collected a total of eight medals on race day.The varsity men entered two boats in the varsity eight category and took second and fifth overall, just 1.5 seconds out of first. The varsity four found validation with a dominating 17-second victory, while the JV eight took the bronze with a strong performance.
The women’s varsity squad had a strong showing. They raced in the Women’s Junior eight event, the Women’s JV eight event, and two boats raced in the Junior four event. In the Junior eight, Port took sixth place overall, while the JV eight took ninth overall. In the women’s varsity four race, Port placed sixth and was a mere two seconds away from fourth place. The girls in the JV race took second place. All in all, it was a successful weekend. All the boats were aggressive on the racecourse and fought their way to the finish line.
The freshman crew kicked off the season with the Freshman Boys 8 taking first place by 20 seconds and the second freshman boat taking second place in their category. The Freshman Men’s four took home the bronze in a tight race. The Freshman Women finished strongly in the middle of the pack in fifth place, displaying a great rhythm so early in the season.
One highlight of the weekend was the introduction of Port’s adult program to the racecourse. What began as a rowing club focused on student athletes has now expanded to include adults because why should the kids have all the fun? This past summer, Port Rowing started an adult learn-to-row program with amazing success. More than 40 men and women from around the area signed up, learned to row, and then competed against each other in a series of races. From this group, several women rowers wanted to do a little more. Throughout August and September, these new rowers have been working on general fitness, endurance and rowing technique in preparation for the 2012 fall racing season.
Five ladies donned their rowing unisuits, and, outfitted like the rest of the team, raced the more than two-mile course at the Tail of the Fish. As these women launched from the dock, crowds of Port Rowing supporters cheered them on. And as they crossed the finish line for their first time, their supporters cheered again.
The four-woman team with coxswain was Laura Santala (Bow), Mary Small (2 seat), Deirdre Saunders (3 seat), Briana Pittman (stroke) and Sue Carras (Cox). The boat came in third, only 11 seconds behind second. When asked about the race, the ladies smiled and said, "Next time, we'll go faster!"
Port continued the season in Connecticut at the Head of the Housatonic on Oct. 6, and the adults continue their season in 2 weeks at the Head of the Passaic.