2023 Fall Racing Recap

This fall the FVRA masters racing team had several athlete milestones accomplished through the 2 local races that we were able to participate in. It was a rough fall for racing. The CRI Fall Classic was canceled because of an incoming hurricane in mid-September and then Head of the Housatonic, scheduled for October 7th, was canceled for the first time ever due to anticipated bad weather and flooding. As a group we are still building back into the rapid fire racing that fall brings in September and October. Last year we had our first fall race since 2019 with our participation in Head of the Riverfront in a Mixed Masters 8. It was a great experience and everyone was really looking forward to racing again this fall. 

Bridget racing women's novice single

Bridget launching for her first ever 1x race

On September 9th we headed up to Springfield and PVRC for the Springfield Rockrimmon Regatta. A 5k stake race on the Connecticut river that sends you 2500m downstream and then 2500m back to the finish line. A great spectator course with the start and finish right in front of the PVRC boathouse and right next to a bridge that allows you to get a birds eye view of the course. 

While the day started off mild, with a light breeze for Simon’s Mens Masters 1x 35-44, a first for him, summer made an appearance as the clouds broke and temps rose to the high 70s for Katie and Todd’s Mixed Masters 2x. Todd’s first sculling race! The race was well attended by both youth and masters teams. While FVRA didn’t win one of the freshly cut steaks for a first place finish, Simon walked away with a mini lemon pie for his second place finish in his event. 

The last week of September brought heavy rains to the area with the Farmington River cresting at just under 14ft and while the Connecticut River didn’t make it to flood stage the current certainly packed a punch. We headed to Hartford and Riverfront Recapture for the Head of the Riverfront on Sunday, October 1st. Starting off the day of racing was Bridget in her first single race as part of the Novice Master’s Women 1x race – having just moved into a racing single in June! She did a great job navigating the course and current, and is excited to come back for some sprint racing next year.

Sarah and Katie in Women’s Open 2x

In the afternoon Katie and Sarah took to the course in the Open Women’s 2x competing alongside Holy Cross and Trinity College boats finishing in 4th place, only 9 seconds off of third place. This was Sarah’s first sculling race! The course was shortened due to the raging current to 3k before any racing started and even with that finishing times for the 2x race were between 17 and 22 minutes, which is around a 4 min split. Times for races throughout the day ranged from 14 min to around 26 minutes. 

Our final boat of the day was the Men’s Masters 4x consisting of Simon, Todd, Larry and Ryan. They had some difficulty with race traffic as the race immediately before them was Girls 2nd Jr. 4+ and unfortunately the current turned out to be too much for many of those boats to make headway. That resulted in most of the Men’s 4xs overtaking the girls’ boats with a lot of maneuvering to find a clear path in the heavy water. Everyone 

FVRA at Head of the Riverfront ’23

made it back safely and was happy with our first FVRA Men’s racing team boat entry since 2016 as we continue to build back the team!

As the season winds down, with limited rowing time on Rainbow due to the lack of light in the mornings and evenings, we had a great time getting back to some exciting racing this year. Congratulations to everyone on some great accomplishments in sculling! We look forward to getting stronger over the winter and bringing it back in the spring for some sprint racing. Before we pack up for the season we’ll be sure to head out for some fall foliage rows over the next month. Happy fall and many thanks to our local clubs for running great races!