Master-Junior Scrimmage 2016
In handing the One Guinea Pig cup to Junior Captains Patrick Hanson and Maddie McEachern, Bruce Morser, who stroked the Masters mixed eight to a respectable second place finish said “a famous definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result”. The annual Masters-Juniors scrimmage in Quartermaster Harbor that kicks off the spring rowing season has become a pretty predictable affair in terms of the outcome and in terms of the great camaraderie across a wide range of ages—eighth graders to septuagenarians. Coming on the heals of a raucous week of weather in the northwest and with the forecast for Saturday’s scrimmage similarly ominous it was a pleasant shock for the rowers to be greeted by blue skies, warm temperatures and a very light breeze – perfect rowing conditions. The first nine races were rowed over an abbreviated 1000-meter course with boats filled with mixtures of Masters, Juniors, men and women. The final (and 10th) event was for the cup and this year the race was a 1500-meter sprint between mixed eights – 4 men and 4 women plus a coxswain in each boat. The Masters boat was able to keep pace for the first 1000 meters but the superior power-to-weight ratio of the juniors prevailed at the finish line by about a boat length and a half. The winning juniors were Patrick Hanson (stroke), Fletcher Call, Cole Puckett, Forrest Miller, Riley Lynch, Virginia Miller, Maddie McEachern, Katrina Heffernan and coxswain KaiLi Scheer, who came out of retirement for the event.
At the awards ceremony following the races the club named two newly acquired racing shells: a quad/four (Celia II, in honor of club founder Celia Congdon) and a pair/double (the KipKat, recognizing the grit of the junior rowers). A big thank you also went out to several people who have very generously helped the club over the winter (Marty Teachout and PacFish who rebuilt the club’s boat trailer, Kelly McEachern who rewired the entire Jensen Point boat house as part of the new addition project this winter and Bob Stewart whose construction firm is close to completion of that new addition). Masters John Singer and Su Dewalt were also acknowledged for their exceptional ongoing effort to maintain our fleet which slowly corrodes away due to its daily immersion in salt water.
Bruce Morser closed the festivities with a recounting of the origins of the trophy name. The America’s Cup is the oldest international sports trophy and is awarded to the winning sailing vessel in a prestigious regatta held every few years. It was originally known as the 100 Guinea Cup for the purse raised for the first race. About a decade ago when the Masters-Junior scrimmage was first conceived, Bruce was tasked with coming up with a suitable award. A trip to Granny’s Attic was in order and he immediately found a small silver plate cup. But that wasn’t quite enough. So looking further he saw a stuffed Guinea Pig which was just the perfect size to sit in the silver cup. Being an avid sailor Bruce knew the history of the America’s Cup well and immediately grasped the perfect juxtaposition. Thus was born the One Guinea Pig Cup and a wonderful tradition to launch the spring rowing season.
Coach Richard Parr praised the rowers for the great team spirit and competitive rowing. “It was a really great ‘club’ day with lots of laughs and interaction amongst the whole team – Masters, Juniors and parents. Much hard work awaits the teams this season but both are off to a solid start.”
Text by Pat Call.