Stonington Boys Crew Takes on Charles River

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Hope Murney

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SHS team practices late afternoon Friday

SHS team practices late afternoon Friday

SHS team practices late afternoon Friday

Last Sunday, the Stonington High School crew team traveled to chilly Boston to compete in the annual Head of the Charles crew regatta.

Since 1965, rowers from all over the world have come to the classic New England city to battle for first place on the Charles River. The race includes a wide range of public schools, boarding schools, colleges and universities, and different clubs that compete in over 50 different events all in one weekend.

Thousands of spectators flocked to watch the competition and browsed the multitude of tents selling hot lunch and merchandise sponsored by Brooks Brothers. Pumpkin bread, clam chowder, tea, or warm apple cider were essential for waiting for the SHS team to pass by towards the finish line.

The Stonington boys’ team had dedicated all of their time to this race from the minute the bell rang at the end of school on Friday, including the 6 days a week of practice since the season started back in mid-August. By Sunday, the team was ready for the challenge.

At 12:43 pm the starting horn went off and Stonington began its pursuit down the river along with the rest of the Men’s Youth Eights. Only minutes later the boat came in contact with another boat from St. Andrews, which led to a second minor bump into the Eliot Bridge.

“No one was expecting us to actually hit something during the race,” says Samuel Bunger, a rower for SHS. “But we shook it off we just kept going.” Although this delayed SHS, they still powered on and finished with a time of 18:44. A one minute penalty was tacked on due to the crash, and Stonington came in 81st place.

After loading the boats back on the rack, coach Tyler Page called the team together. “Well boys– that’s Head of the Charles,” he began. Page then proceeded to congratulate the rowers along with the family and friends that drove up to the city to watch and support them.

Although about half the team that competed in this race are seniors, the remaining students are determined to come back next year and fight even harder.

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