The Head of the Charles is a major international regatta featuring 11,000 athletes in 2,252 boats. It involved 776 clubs and schools from 29 countries. The Men's Youth Plus 4 race featured 85 teams.
The regatta is a popular, invitation-only event, and boats with four or more athletes that finished in the top half of their event or boats with one or two athletes that finished within 5 percent of the winner in their event automatically qualified an entry for the team in that event in next year’s regatta. Norwalk River Rowing qualified five boats to race next year: the Men’s Youth Four Plus Coxswain along with a Men’s Youth Double, Women’s Youth Four Plus Coxswain, Women’s Senior Masters (women 50 years and older) Four Plus Coxswain and Women’s Masters Double (women 40 years and older).
McDonough and Petreski, along with Kaare Andersen of Pound Ridge and Zach Johnston of Cross River, helped Norwalk River Rowing win all six of the club’s medals the next week at the Head of the Schuylkill, another major regatta, this one in Philadelphia.
Petreski won the gold in the Men’s High School Varsity Single and then teamed with McDonough to win gold in the Men’s High School Varsity Double and silver in the Men’s High School Varsity Four Plus Coxswain, where they were bested only by a London-based crew. Andersen won a gold medal in the Men’s High School Junior Varsity Quad (four rowers with two oars each) and a bronze in the Men’s High School Junior Varsity Four Plus Coxswain (four rowers with one oar each plus the coxswain). Johnston earned a silver in the Men’s High School Novice Four Plus Coxswain.
Earlier in the fall Andersen, McDonough and Petreski helped Norwalk River Rowing win four of the eight medals it won at the Head of the Housatonic. The Head of the Housatonic bills itself as one of the largest single-day regattas in the country and included 550 boats from 83 clubs and schools.
Petreski again won a gold medal in the Junior Men’s Single and, along with McDonough, helped the Junior Men’s Varsity Four Plus Coxswain win a gold, while McDonough also helped power the Junior Men’s Second Varsity Plus Coxswain to its gold medal win. Andersen helped the Junior Men’s Varsity Quad win its bronze medal.
Norwalk River Rowing also won a gold medal in the Junior Women’s Varsity Quad, a silver in the Masters Men (aged 27-39) single and bronzes in the Masters (adult) Women’s Four Plus Coxswain the Junior Men’s Varsity Singles.
The club finished its fall season with its annual Matthew Zucker Memorial Fund “ergathon.” Over 70 participants, from middle school girls and boys to adults nearing retirement, rowed on indoor rowing machines (“ergs”) at the Wilton Field House.
Participants raised over $15,000 to support the cause, named after a former NRRA rower. The money goes toward scholarships for rowers at Norwalk River Rowing.
All three programs now move inside for winter training and to prepare for the spring season.
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