Come Boating! wins Head of Weir raceMalcolm G first, Selkie third in 27th annual event
Hull, Mass. — Come Boating!, Belfast’s community boating organization, sent two boats to the 27th annual Head of the Weir River Race on Saturday, Nov. 2 and the local rowers continued their winning ways, as the crew of the Malcolm G took first place in the Pilot Gig category, with Selkie third.
The crew of Malcolm G consisted of coxswain Rowan Walauski, John Dillenbeck, Kyffin Dolliver, Kevin Brown, Ethan Shaw, Monica Piccinini and Tanya Lubansky.
The crew of Selkie consisted of coxswain Rick Fitzsimmons, Roy Rodgers, Rafe Blood, Greg Stafford, Marnie Reeve, Susan Orsato and Eric Matthews.
This year's event saw strong entries from the largest field ever for the 5.5-mile event; 67 boats and perfect conditions — calm winds, temperatures in the mid-60s and an ebbing tide.
Starting at the narrow head of the Weir River, pilot gigs, coxed 4s, whaleboats, workboats, livery boats, ocean shells, kayaks and surfskis charged across the start line one at a time with 30 seconds between the competitors. The Come Boating! entries were #66 and #67 by virtue of their past performances, but with strong crews, they soon began to catch and pass boats.
The crew of Malcolm G, Come Boating's newest, traditionally-built Cornish Pilot Gig, had a goal of passing all other pilot gigs and in one of the most exciting finishes of the season, managed to do so with barely a 100 yards to go, catching the men's team from Saquish, Mass. in the Mike Jenness Sr., and passed them at the line with a time of 45 minutes and 33 seconds. The Saquish men finished second in 47:05 and the other Belfast boat, Selkie, third at 49:17.
This was the final race of the 2013 season and a wonderful way for the Belfast teams to end a successful year. The racers now get time off before training starts again for the first race of the year, the 2014 Snow Row, which takes place March 1, also in Hull, Mass.
John Dillenbeck contributed information for this story.