November 10, 2022 - Submitted by Holly Moriarty, photos by Joshua Ross
Hundreds of spectators crowded along the banks of the Back River in Bare Cove Park last Sunday morning to watch the Hingham High School Crew team compete against Duxbury High School in the first annual Frosty Bow Sprints.
The two teams have a long-standing friendly rivalry. Duxbury also competes in the Salty Bow Sprints hosted in the spring by the Hingham High School Rowing Association (HHSRA), the parent-run nonprofit organization that oversees and operates the HHS Crew team.
“Racing at Bare Cove Park is a treat for our athletes and families, it’s the perfect venue for sprint racing, very spectator friendly, and we’re fortunate to be able to race here a few times a year,” said Oli Rosenbladt, head coach of the Duxbury High School Crew team.
An unusually warm day for the not-so-frosty sprints, temperatures reached into the 70s with gusty winds for the athletes to contend with in the 1,400 meter sprints. The teams competed in eight races in 8+ boats (eight rowers and a coxswain)—most boats finished within seconds of each other.
“It’s amazing to be able to duel with a fellow South Shore team on our own course. It’s a rare experience that we are extremely lucky to be a part of,” said Sydney Blasetti, head girls coach for HHS Crew. “It’s so exciting coming down the course, looking to the shoreline and seeing hundreds of people cheer us on! Having that support from our home town means so much to us.”
The races kicked off at 8:30 a.m. to take advantage of the tides. First up were the boys first varsity (1V) boats. The HHS 1V crew came up with their own race plan, focusing on clean catches, no rush, and tons of run. They took advantage of strong tailwinds and a fast current. Duxbury’s 1V hung with them for the first part of the race, but as soon as they hit the halfway point, Hingham cruised ahead, finishing with open water nine seconds faster than Duxbury.
“The guys worked really hard this week on a quick transition from head racing to sprints,” said head boys coach for HHS Crew, Alix Howie. “We didn’t have great water so actually a lot of our practice was done on the ergs! It is hard to make that work, but they really stepped up. I think performing in front of a huge home crowd was a great motivator!”
HHS boys 1V rowers included Sam Ackerman, Gabe Wagner, Will D’Arcy, Owen Burleigh, Theo Grossman, Michael Magner, Dylan Drew, Josh Bradshaw, and coxswain Michael Wegener.
“Everyone put a ton of hard work in this past week to prepare for this change in racing style, and it definitely showed,” said Michael Magner, captain and senior on the HHS boys team. “Being able to host an event like this with such a big rival was an amazing way to wrap up the fall season. I am thankful to the coaches and boards of both teams for making it possible.”
The HHS Crew girls coaches mixed up the lineups for Frosty Bow to let all the seniors row together in the first varsity boat. During the race, the crew caught an over-the-head crab, but recovered quickly, finishing only 21 seconds behind Duxbury’s girls first varsity boat. Catching a crab occurs when rower’s blade becomes stuck under water and the momentum of the boat knocks the oar into the rower’s body or over their head, sometimes with enough force to eject the rower from the boat.
Maddie McPhillips coxed HHS rowers Sophie Kerr, Jane Betti, Marissa Matthews, Elena Vasilakos, Grace Desai, Mazie Neidecker, Sadie Neidecker, and Ellie Dodd.
The second varsity races were especially tight. The HHS boys second varsity boat came from behind to finish four seconds ahead of Duxbury.
“This race was fought tooth and nail,” commented Coach Howie. “Duxbury came out strong and at a higher rate, but Hingham remained calm, cool, and confident throughout the first half of the race, the boats neck and neck. As they approached the beach the boats were still jostling for a lead, and with their friends and family watching and screaming, they started taking seats with each stroke. It was honestly one of the most exciting races to watch all season.”
Alex Jacob coxed 2V rowers Jack Burns, James Feeley, Nathan Tesler, Alex Doggett, Nick Germain, A.J. Rubel, Colin Menuchi, and Cullen Moriarty.
The raced tied up again in the girls second varsity race with Duxbury beating Hingham by just three seconds. The HHS girls 2V boat included Sasha Coleman, Maisie Knies, Maeve Schnorr, Genevieve Vale, Ava Green, Julia Lopes, Patricia Ricci, Dania Thayer, and coxswain Alexa Fox.
Duxbury’s boys third varsity boat raced against Hingham’s 3V and 4V crews. The HHS 3V boat pulled away from the other crews at the start, but had a foot stretcher malfunction that caused several missed strokes. Duxbury finished three seconds ahead of Hingham’s 3V, with HHS’s 4V crossing 18 seconds later.
“Despite the frustration of missing first by mere seconds, the 3V boat was very positive and is really excited to get faster this winter and chase down more crews this spring,” said Coach Howie. “The 4V crew has the least experience with spring race starts and they did incredibly well, I am very proud of them! Spring starts are very quick and they’re all about timing. They hung right with the 3V for most of the race, and they never gave up. I’m excited to see them perform this spring. They’re going to be a boat to watch for sure!”
HHS boys 3V included rowers Slater Fairfield, Arlo Maxwell, Will Cassidy, Finn Bias, Charlie Rogan, Trevor Steiner, James Donnelly, Kyle Strauss, and coxswain Quinn Gainey.
Brendan Engel, Kai Hawes, Ryan Kost, Sean Barry, Ethan Parnell, Joe Cassidy, Owen Weinstein, Jack Robbins, and coxswain Torbjorn Tennebo made up the HHS 4V crew.
Hingham’s girls third varsity boat evened up the scoreboard again, winning their race by 25 seconds against Duxbury. Rowing for HHS’s 3V boat were Louisa Orth, Isabelle Wagner, Ava Sugrue, Abrielle Beaudoin, Audrey Jones, Grace LeFond, Madeline Kittinger, Ella Poggenburg, and coxswain Nora Pluto.
Duxbury’s girls novice boat put them back in the lead, coming in 21 seconds ahead of the Hingham’s girls novice boat with rowers Sophia Santarelli, Lynnayah Ryan, Taylor Sargent, Shauna Arseneau, Kaylee Araujo, Lydia D’Arcy, Grace Ji, Mae Mahoney, and coxswain Greta Campbell.
Last up were the boys novice boats.
“They had a week to learn how to row a sprint race—it’s much shorter than other fall races and you have to get the boat moving as fast as possible from a complete standstill at the start line,” said Abi Kornet, novice boys coach for HHS Crew. “All of the boys took to it right away. I knew it would be a fun race for them, full of friendly competition and fast rowing.”
Hingham’s boys novice evened up the score once more, with the first novice finishing five seconds ahead of Duxbury’s novice boat, and HHS’s second novice crew crossing 20 seconds later—making the first annual Frosty Bow Sprints a tie between Hingham and Duxbury.
“Given the first novice boat’s equipment issues that caused them to not medal at the state championships, I’m glad they had another opportunity to do what they knew they were capable of,” said Coach Kornet. “The second novice looked strong out there, catches were together and their timing was on point. I’m proud of them and know they enjoyed racing with their teammates. Sprint races are what spring season is all about and Frosty Bow was just a taste. I can’t wait to see what these guys can do come spring!”
The HHS boys first novice boat included coxswain Hanley Stroka and rowers Zakary Robbins, Liam Connolly, Brent Strauss, Owen Lefort, Walker Bogen, Asher Baynes, Lachlan Knies, and William Barry.
Rowers Ned Buckley, Owen Cerrato, Nicolas Mangili, Aqueel Bharmal, Caio DaSilva, Jack O’Leary, Oliver McLucas, Will Whitrap, and coxswain Tyler Bastia made up the boys second novice crew.
“Racing against Hingham is always exciting, and the margins are always tight. Hingham is a good team with strong athletes, they are well coached, and it’s always a fun challenge to line up against the Harbormen and -women!” added Coach Rosenbladt.
HHS Crew had an exceptional fall season, bringing home three gold, four silver, and four bronze medals from regattas across New England. The team will train through the winter and be back on the water for the spring season.
“These guys had a fantastic season and this last race really gets everyone excited for the spring season,” said Coach Howie. “Each race has taught them something new, and they took each lesson in stride, hungry for the next opportunity, the next hurdle. I’m so proud of their hard work and dedication.”
“What a way to end the season! This weekend was a great teaser for what is to come in the spring,” added Coach Blasetti. “We have an outstanding group of student athletes, I can’t wait to see what they all accomplish!”