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Rowing is more than a fast boat on race day. It is a complimentary experience to a young athlete’s intellectual development. Rowing, like success, is a journey, not a destination. Peter often tells his rowers to have fun, learn, and most of all, grow as individuals. The wins and losses will take care of themselves.

Between 1993 and 1996 we won Scholastic Rowing Association Championships in the men’s pairs and twice in the women’s fours. We won numerous state championships in different events including a heady streak of four straight in the men’s varsity eight. Between 1997 and 1999 we began to slip and although we continued to be competitive, we were no longer the dominant force of the earlier years. It appeared that the necessary dedication and a willingness to make personal sacrifices were being replaced with complacency.

How to address this was the issue facing us at the beginning of the 1999-2000 season. We had many returning rowers who wanted to regain our former status as the crew to beat, the standard bearer of excellence. We addressed the issue of creeping complacency with a dedicated regimen of hard work to eradicate that mind set.

The Fall Season started well with a big improvement over last year. At the Head of the Charles our Men’s Eight finished 13th out of 45 in the Youth Event and the Women’s Four placed 10th out of 31 in their Youth Event. Placing both boats in the top third of their fleets was a good beginning on our comeback road. We took delivery of and christened out new Kaschper Four which we named in memory of Josh Lang who won our organization’s first gold medal back on July 13, 1991. After Karen Anderson, Josh’s mom, did the honors of the christening, the girls raced with Josh’s brother Cass Anderson coxing. It was nice to see it rowed so well.

We also improved on our previous year’s performance at the Hooch, winning a gold (WY4+), two silver (WY8+ and MY4+) and a bronze (WY4+B entry).

The spring season got off to a good start at the Stanton Invitational where we demonstrated emphatically that complacency was a thing of the past as our rowers made off with the gold medals in all eight varsity races and captured the overall points’ trophy with 85 out of a possible 96 points.

We ran into a bump in the road the following week against tougher competition at the OARS Invitational where the Men’s Varsity 8+ had to settle for a bronze, losing to Winter Park and Leon. Then again at FIRA over an 1815 meter course, Winter Park showed that it was still the crew to beat, getting the better of our boys again, this time by nearly a 6 second margin. The girls 8+ lost a close race by one second to Winter Park.

At States this year gold was difficult to harvest but the Riverview Men’s Four with Ben Hale, Mike Cavallo, T.J. Hankey, Frank Frfederick and David Wyant were able to strike it rich. Nevertheless, we felt that we had accomplished what we set out to do at the beginning of the season, improve and put ourselves back on track. So we left looking forward to the next season.

Graduating senior Jimmy Larsen will be rowing lightweight for Yale next year. James Frederick received a scholarship to FIT and will be on their crew. Jonathan Smith will join Jimmy on the Yale lightweight crew next season and likes to point out that his favorite crew related quote is, “Pull or I will kill you.” Marc Vignocchi graduates with this thought about rowing, “You meet a lot of great people and learn the meaning of commitment to something greater than yourself.”


All the schools who were represented at the Head of the Hooch in their team Henley shirts, Sarasota, Riverview, Booker, Lemon Bay, Out of Door Academy and Venice.

Our men's eight driving hard under the Weeks Bridge at the Head of the Charles on their way to a 13th out of 45 entries.

1999 - 2000

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