A wide view of the beach in Hull, Massachusetts lined with rowing gigs of various colors for the start of the Snow Row race

Updates from a Springtime Snow Row

Each March, the open-water rowing season in New England kicks off with the annual Snow Row, a 3.5-mile race in Hull, MA and teams from the Museum’s rowing clubs are always there! The 2023 edition, however, was moved from March to April due to  weather (there’s only so much snow the Snow Row can handle!). This year’s Snow Row was subsequently nicknamed the “Daffodil Row” by the Hull Lifesaving Museum’s Ed McCabe and rowers from around New England, New York, and beyond gathered in Hull on Saturday, April 15 for a spirited day of racing.

As crews congregated on the beach mid-morning, the early fog gave way to partially cloudy skies with plenty of warm sunshine and little-to-no breeze, a rarity for Hull. An outgoing tide around the noon race time added the largest natural element of challenge for the boats to navigate. Of course, the Snow Row is known for its infamous Lemans-style start in which racers run to the boat and launch before completing the remainder of the race.

Pilot gigs Annie O and Rising Tide rest on the beach
Annie O and Rising Tide rest on the beach

In total, four teams and boats from Lake Champlain Maritime Museum raced the course – St Ayles skiff Resilience, and pilot gigs Frank Beckett, Rising Tide, and Annie O:

Resilience – The skiff was crewed by coxswain Emily Weber and crewed by Museum community rowers Mary Hennessey, Melissa Robertson, and Carole Oglesby, as well Andrew Washburn from Maine. They crossed the finish line with a time of 44 minutes, 57 seconds, which was good enough for 7th place of 10 boats in the adult coxed four-oar class.

Frank Beckett crew sets off for a practice row
Frank Beckett crew sets off for a practice row

Frank Beckett – The Museum’s first competing pilot gig was crewed by Tim Cowan, Evelyn Hladik, Becky D’Avignon, Shining Chang, and Lynn Stewart-Parker, along with Ken Voorhees from Bowdoinham, ME and coxswain Maria Cimonetti. Overcoming a challenging start, the crew put up a time of 43 minutes, 24 seconds, achieving 11th of 14 boats in the adult pilot gig category.

A rowing crew stands together smiling behind a pilot gig
Team Fishcakes included Museum staff and rowers, coxed by our own Nick Patch

Rising Tide – The second Museum gig team is a perennial favorite, “The Fishcakes!” Coxed by Nick Patch, the boat was crewed by Sarah Yamaguchi, Brent Coulthard, Jack Chappell, Oak Fonte, David Brynn, and Sandra Murphy. They finished 6th in the category after rowing the course in 41 minutes, 1 second.

A rowing crew stands together in front of a rowing gig on a beach
The crew of the Annie O who will be competing in the World Pilot Gig Championships in England this month

Annie O – The third and final Museum gig was rowed by a unique crew from Vermont and Maine who will soon be traveling to the Isles of Scilly in England for the World Pilot Gig Championships (WPGC), taking place on April 28-30. This team includes coxswain Ben Mayock, John Dillenbeck, Pete Feeney, Andrew Rainville, Clark Staples, Keith Mintz, and Tim Hodson. At the Snow Row, the boat took 2nd among the adult pilot gigs with a speedy time of 36 minutes, 31 seconds; also setting the 6th fastest time of the day across all categories.

According to Rainville, “We could not have asked for more ideal rowing conditions. It was a solid day of racing that brought out the best in all of the crews. The Snow Row is always a great way to ring in the new rowing year!”

Museum rowing clubs are back in the water on May 9 and all are welcome! If you have any interest joining one of these weekly clubs or participating in regional races, you can find more information at http://www.lcmm.org/adult-rowing/