Under blue skies and against strong winds, rowing teams from Milton, Hingham, Quincy and Thayer Academy competed in the first South Shore Novice Challenge on Sunday, November 6. The rowing race on the Neponset River, a head race with a distance of two miles, drew over a couple hundred spectators to the shores of Pope John Paul II Park in Dorchester.
It was organized by a collaboration of their respective coaches to expand the opportunities for novice rowers to gain more experience in competition. This was Quincy's first season and Milton's second season.
Trophies were awarded to the winning crews for both girls' eights and boys' eights. The Milton women took first place and were awarded their trophy in honor of Marjorie Burgard. Ms. Burgard, a native of Cohasset currently living in Duxbury, is a rowing sensation, who continues to compete internationally. She has won gold medals in the Head of the Charles and masters category at the World Championships. She is also the only woman to be inducted into the Ancient Order of Oars at the 2010 World event.
The Hingham men took the trophy awarded in the name of Milton native Judge George Hurd. Hurd was one of Harvard University's outstanding singles rowers. In 1940, he won first place in the Junior New England Sculling Championship. While a student at Havard, he also coached the Boston University Crew from 1940-1942.
Both Ms. Burgard and Judge Hurd were on hand for the event and the presentation of the trophies.
“This day was sensational,” said John Rhee, President of the Friends of Milton Crew. “The coaches came together to provide an opportunity for these novice rowers and to take advantage of this great South Shore asset, the Neponset. The weather was great. The competition was great. And to have these two rowing standouts, Ms. Burgard and Judge Hurd, on hand to inspire us all was just fantastic.”
The race truly was a challenge. Strong winds temporarily blew the Hingham boat slightly off course and resulted in some equipment damage. The Milton women's crew also experienced equipment failure. However, both crews fought on each crew down 2 seats, and rowed the race.
At the presentation of the trophies, Judge Hurd summed up what everyone was feeling at the moment: “I am just so proud of you all.”
The Nauset Regional High School Crew who row out of Brewster was also invited to the event as a guest participant.
The official results are:
Race 1: Mens Jr 8+ 10:30 AM
1st Place, Hingham High School: 17:35.86
2nd Place, Nauset Regional High School: 18:43.70
3rd Place, Thayer Academy/Quincy: 19:39.30
4th Place, Milton High School: 20:14.48
Race 2: Womens Jr 8+ @11:15 AM
1st Place, Nauset Regional High School: 20:47.52
2nd Place, Milton High School: 20:58.01
3rd Place, Hingham High School - A: 21:06.94
4th Place, Thayer Academy/Quincy: 24:32.45
5th Place, Hingham High School - B: 25:19.22
For information about Milton Crew please visit their web site at http://www.miltoncrew.org or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The above release was submitted by Frank Schroth, Friends of Milton Crew.