High Point, North Carolina – Greensboro Crew marked its first ever Opening Day of a season at 2016 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival in front of thousands of rowers and spectators at Festival Park on Oak Hollow Lake on Saturday.
After a brief delay to the start of racing due to early morning fog, spectators thronged the banks of the lake to watch almost 450 rowers in 151 boats from 20 different clubs, universities and high schools from as far away as Annapolis, MD to Atlanta, GA.
Greensboro Crew, in its first season of rowing boated a larg fleet of crews in youth novice and middle school events and Masters (adults) eights events.
The head racing course for the Festival is one of the most unique in rowing in that it requires the crews to steer around multiple turns including a 180 degree turn ‘Around the Duck.’ The ‘duck’ is an inflated rubber duck almost as tall as a three story building. Unfortunately, the duck tipped over for afternoon racing but this didn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the rowers.
Greensboro began its day with Masters racing, where High Point (average age of 50) showed a dashing display of skill and stamina to win the Burton Whicker Cup over Greensboro’s less experienced oarsmen (average age 38). Greensboro’s Masters women (average age 47) finished in a close 5th place in a strong field of crews from High Point, Raleigh and Belmont.
With some racing experience under their belts, Greensboro Masters then turned around later in the afternoon session of boat racing to win the Mixed Masters eights, and the Masters Maiden Eights events in convincing fashion.
Greensboro Crew founder Gene Kininmonth said he was extremely proud of the accomplishments of the squad. “In 7 weeks these rowers went from not knowing how to row, to completing a 3 mile race course. They took home medals in the Mixed Masters 8+ and the Mixed Maiden 8+ and should be commended for their efforts!”