One way to understand that Autumn will soon be upon us is that the head races begins in New England. One of the first ones is the Coastweeks Regatta, which was held today on the Mystic River. It was actually the 20th Annual Coastweeks Regatta and although slightly more than a week ago, it looked like it was going to be a small amount of rowers – young boys and girls, and older men and women, novice and more experienced “oars” – who would find their way to Mystic, Connecticut, but things changed. Early this morning, the organisers handed out around 200 bow numbers to participating rowers. Not bad, not bad, at all.
The weather was cooperating: the sun was up and there was a light breeze, which however, was a little stronger out on the water, especially at the start, which was under the I95 Highway bridge upriver. The finish line was, as always, the dock by the Mystic Seaport’s North Lawn.
One in the group of organisers, Edward Monahan, 75 years young, was, as always, ready with his shell and sculls to fight for a medal. Ed was one of the founding fathers of this regatta 20 years ago, and to celebrate this, his fellow members of the Regatta committee had instituted a new prize, the Edward Monahan Founder’s Trophy for the Men’s Veterans Racing Singles.
Ed Monahan (on the right) congratulates Steve Gurney of the New Haven Rowing Club, the first recipient of the Edward Monahan Founder’s Trophy for the class Men’s Veterans Racing Singles at the Coastweeks Regatta. Photo: Betty Monahan.
Ed, who by the way, did win a medal at this regatta, is a man who rows by the numbers, which was pointed out last month in an article in the local newspaper, The Day. Read more about Ed by clicking here.
You will find the results from the Coastweeks Regatta here.
The Coastweeks Regatta is one of the regattas in Mystic during this weekend. The other one, The Battle Between the Bridges Invitational Regatta, is always raced by men and women in single sculls the day before Coastweeks. I am afraid not much information went out about this year’s Battle Between the Bridges, which is rowed on a short 500-metre course between the railroad bridge and the bascule bridge in Downtown Mystic. Both events are sharing the same programme, ‘Mystic Weekend of Rowing’, which this year honoured one of the great men of American rowing, Hart Perry, who sadly passed away in February this year. Hart was the founder of this regatta, and from now on, the regatta will be referred to as the Hart Perry The Battle Between the Bridges Invitational Regatta – a very suitable tribute.