CLRA Begins Season With Open Regatta

Doing the precision rowing in the Kincaid are, from the left, Alexis Barron, Anna Burt, Tori Lai, Susan Bowers and steersman Cassie Spillane. Submitted photo

ITHACA — The Chautauqua Lake Rowing Association high school team began its racing season with an opening regatta April 22.

Due to lingering winter-like conditions, crews across Western and Central New York had very limited time on the water. This resulted in race organizers eliminating any novice events from the schedule. Their concern was the ability of novice crews to row safely on open waters at race pace. CLRA consequently only brought three crews to the race. Overall there were 25 less boats for this regatta as teams brought only their most advanced crews.

Although winds were relatively calm, temperatures were below freezing upon arrival to the site, eventually climbing to 60 degrees. Preliminary events are competed as timed races with “rolling” starts. Boats build speed as they move to the start, achieving full speed as the clock starts. First up were the boys, racing the Aquila on the Ithaca 1,500-meter course. The boat included Jacob Carlson, Blake Terry, Carson Hanson, Drew Laurin and steersman Joe Dahlgren. This crew finished strongly with resulting in a second place finish and a spot in the finals.

Next up were the girls with two boats. Alexis Barron, Anna Burt, Tori Lai, Susan Bowers and steersman Cassie Spillane, using the Kincaid, rowed to a second place in a seven-boat field. In the same category, Keeley Hayes, Lilli Baer, Sarah Quadt, Leah Saxton and steersman Anna Jones raced in the Phoenix. Their time was a mere one second out of contention to advance to a final.

Finals are raced in a side-by-side format, two boats per race from a stationary or floating start. The clock starts as soon as the official calls, “Attention, Go!” The boys’ boat had a strong start, but the crew from Pittsford was stronger with CLRA finishing in second place and second overall. In the second final of the day for CLRA, the girls’ crew faced off against a Baldwinsville team. Although it was a stronger race for the girls, the Baldwinsville crew finished first. The CLRA girls finished second, and second overall.

The CLRA next heads to Buffalo for the John Bennett Regatta followed by NYS Scholastic Championships in Saratoga Springs. For more information on the high school team, see the links in the web site at