Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association Hosts Scrimmage Vs. Collegiate Academy

From the left are Frankie Farrell, boys head coach Ali Odrzywolski, Carson Hanson, Joe Dahlgren, Blake Terry, Cassie Spillane and Jacob Carlson. The crew used the new Frank A. Farrell Jr. fiber shell racing boat at a scrimmage against Collegiate Academy of Erie on April 28. Submitted photo

The Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association high school team hosted Collegiate Academy of Erie at their boathouse on 18 Jones and Gifford Avenue, Jamestown for their annual home-and-home scrimmage on Saturday April 28.

The location of the races alternates each season. The day was a chilly (42 degrees), particularly so when rain fell during morning. Despite the weather, nearly 250 people attended the racing and new boat dedication.

Since the races are considered friendlies, races in the last couple of years were shortened to 500 meters instead of the usual 1,500 meters for high school races. This allows crews and coaches to potentially adjust or have coaching consults between sprints. Each crew was to row three of the 500-meter sprints. The categories were set up as Women’s Varsity 4, Novice 4, and Varsity 8. On the men’s side, crews were set up in the same boat configurations. During the spring that hasn’t been very spring like, CLRA’s on-water time has been severely limited due to cold, snow, storms, and severe winds. However, with the relatively protected waters of the Chadakoin River, CLRA teams have had more water time than most Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania teams. CLRA crews finished first in all the individual races, whether head-to-head or timed. The “Championship” Cup will remain with the CLRA team for another year.

One noteworthy set of races involved the men’s varsity 4 crew. This team was racing in the newly dedicated Frank A. Farrell, Jr. shell donated to the CLRA by the Farrell family. Finishing first in three races was the crew of Jacob Carlson, Blake Terry, Caron Hanson, Frankie Farrell, and steersman Cassie Spillane. The Farrell family has been anxious to see this sleek 41-foot carbon fiber shell racing.

Racing for the high school continues with away events in Buffalo, Saratoga Springs, Erie, PA, and Rochester. For more information on high school rowing, see the team web site at or follow the team on their Facebook page.