Under a beautiful, blue sky the first day out of two for Mystic Weekend of Rowing, the Battle Between The Bridges, was held in Downtown Mystic today. It was the 7th Annual Saturday regatta, while the Sunday races for the Coastweeks Regatta will be held tomorrow with the finish line at the Mystic Seaport Museum’s north end lawn.
But for today, roughly ten top-notch male and ten female scullers were racing on the 500 metre long course between the Amtrak Railway Bridge and the Mystic Bascule Drawbridge for the honour and for the Battle Between the Bridges’ ‘trophies’. Among the scullers were, for example, Megan Kalmoe (who won the female races), Laura Larsen-Strecker, Jessi Reel, Lindsay Shoop, Scott Killen, Jon Winter, Chad Healy, and local, Harrison Macris.
Yale University lightweight varsity men’s coach, Andy Card, was, as usual, the witty and entertaining commentator close to the Drawbridge. Of course, a lot of the local rowing dignitaries were present, to mention a few, Ed Monahan, veteran rower and author of Rowing Retrospections – A Personal View of New England Master Sculling (2004), Jim Dietz, Dean Macris, and Hart Perry, Executive Director of the National Rowing Foundation. Hart Perry was kind enough to introduce me to one of the finish line judges, Michele Guerette, Olympic silver medalist in the single scull in Beijing. I could tell Miss Guerette that I actually bumped into her father two weeks back at Mystic Seaport Museum. At that time I had the great honour to show him the National Rowing Hall of Fame and the eminent rowing exhibit ‘Let Her Run’.
Now, let me ask you, in what other sport could you see, and actually talk to, the top, elite athletes as we did today? Any other sport would charge you at least $50 for a seat far up on a spectator stand. Today we all had a front row seat for free. Thank you organizers of the Mystic Weekend of Rowing!