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Nov, 2021

Fall Rowing Season 2021

CYC has a small rowing program compared to programs in other cities with a longer rowing tradition.  But generally, we punch above our weight.  And this fall was no exception.

The Head of the Charles regatta in Boston may be the most storied rowing event in the country.  Since its start in 1965, HOCR has attracted thousands of elite rowers from around the world to compete on a challenging course which winds its way through the city and under bridges for over 4 thousand meters. This year, 619 rowing clubs and 2,231 entrants participated in the regatta.

CYC has sent a men’s 8 to the HOCR for several years.    This year, 8 CYC men again took the challenge and rowed an 8+ in the competition.  Rowing against 13 other boats, CYC came in 4th.  At least 2 of the clubs that beat CYC were composite clubs, meaning that unlike CYC, they recruit rowers (in some cases, from locations around the country) to participate.  It is impressive for a true “club” to do so well in this race! 

A few weeks later, the Head of the Hooch regatta took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This is the 2nd largest regatta in the country, with 178 clubs and 2,037 entries from around the country and world.  Thirteen women and eleven men from CYC made the trek to Chattanooga to compete.  Overall, CYC triumphed!  With 18 entries in Masters events, CYC earned 7 gold medals, more than any other Masters team, one silver, and one bronze.  On team points, CYC came in fourth overall, after Duke Women, Western Reserve, and Atlanta.

The Hooch took place on a perfect fall weekend although the water had a lively current and winds were brisk at times. The men’s Masters 8+ (50+) earned CYC’s first gold medal, rowing the course in the fastest time of any Masters crew on the water (˂50 and 50+). The next gold of the day went to the Mixed Masters Quad (50+), which beat out 15 other crews for gold.  CYC’s Men’s Masters Double (50+) then bested 18 boats to earn the gold.  The amazing day was closed by the Mixed 4+ (50+) coxed by a Charlotte Youth Rowing coxswain taking bronze.

Sunday started off with fireworks when one of CYC’s younger rowers (an alumna of Charlotte Youth Rowing) won gold in the Women’s Masters Single (21-42).  Among all the women’s singles races that day in all age categories, there were 142 female competitors in singles.  Our entrant was the fastest woman on the water! 

This impressive showing was followed up by the Men’s Masters Quad (50+) who bested 15 other boats for gold.  This quad was not only the fastest in the 50+ category, based on raw (unhandicapped) time, but it would have taken gold in the ˂50 category as well.

The pair has 2 rowers, each with a single oar.  Pair rowing is considered by many to be most technically difficult of any shell.  CYC had 2 entries on Sunday in pair events.  CYC’s long-experienced Men’s Masters Pair (50+) garnered gold.  Their win was followed up by a silver medal in the Woman’s Master Pair (50+).

The final gold of the regatta went to the Mixed Masters 8+ (50+).  This boat beat 6 other 8+s in their age category, both on raw time and with age handicap.

The final regatta of the season was the Head of the South (better known as “HOTS”) in Augusta Georgia on November 12.  Although a smaller group of rowers made the trip to Augusta, they did bring home the medals.  Rowing together in a double for the first time, the Catawba Mixed Masters Double took silver.  Rowing together for the first time at a regatta seems to be the Catawba way!!!

Then,  our Men’s Masters Quad were awarded the Igor Grinko award plate for winning the gold.  The quad was the fastest in the field in raw time, beating much younger crews.  And this impressive performance was despite a loose steering issue at the start which kept the boat continually drifting to starboard.  That’s what is called great bowing.

Congratulations to all on a great rowing season!! 

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