The quiet, historic town of Mystic, Connecticut came alive in mid-September, as the 22nd Annual Coastweeks Regatta was held on the scenic Mystic River. Boat trailers filled with long, sleek racing shells of varying sizes broke the morning mist and woke the village to announce the arrival of 250 racers and their enthusiastic fans.
Duxbury rowers of all age groups were well represented in the 30-event program that included singles, doubles, quads, and fours with coxswains.
The early morning chill quickly thawed as the team of Weatherly Dorris and Laura Carleton collected bronze in a bustling time of 8:56 in a doubles field of 16 boats. Carleton will probably need extensive massage therapy on her neck with all the medals she has collected this season.
The DBMS High School team competing for the first time this season and prepping for future regattas also brought home medals. Women’s High School 4+ with coxswain dominated their race taking second and third place with times of 8:30 and 8:43 respectively. The “A” boat of Eliza Hartford (captain), Annie Sweeney, Caroline O’Rourke, Olivia Zelvis (captain) and coxswain Julia White displayed their silver medals after the race. The “B” boat of Lauren McKim, Maddie Van Ummersen (whose mother, Winnie Long also competed), Grace Houghton, Sarah Duffy (captain) and coxswain Tory Coyman proudly wore their bronze medals after the results were announced.
With afternoon winds from the southwest increasing and tides running, the men’s quad event shaped up to be the race of the day. Duxbury, Blood Street Sculls and favorite Narragansett squared off in drama-filled event that surely had the sea captains of years gone by smiling. Unfortunately, the Duxbury men failed to make the medal stand by six seconds.
“All I know is Duxbury rowed a straight, hard race,” said disappointed stroke Chris Chojnowski when speaking with a local radio station.
The ladies quad race was one of the last events of the day and had the fans on their feet, shouting words of encouragement to their home town teams.
The peaking ladies team of Suzanne Sarles, Maureen Williams, Lynn McCarthy and Elizabeth Lange overcame a challenging week of practice to take the silver in 9:45. The bronze also belonged to Duxbury’s team of Suzanne Walker, Liz Connors, Winnie Long, and Laura Carleton. Duxbury had 12 women rowers in this event.
The rowers showed that it is truly an all-inclusive competitive sport for the town of Duxbury, and the coaches were proud to represent the Duxbury Bay Maritime School and the community in Mystic.