Hamilton Teams Compete in First Long Boat Regatta

Members of Hamilton's Longboat Regatta teams at Long Lake.
Members of Hamilton's Longboat Regatta teams at Long Lake.
Twelve Hamilton students competed in the AWA Long Lake Long Boat Regatta on Saturday, Sept. 26. The students raced four-person canoes 10 miles, against Paul Smith College and Colgate University, in the first New York State College Canoe Championship. Andrew Jillings, Hamilton director of outdoor leadership, and Brian McDonnell, regatta organizer, added the college division of the race this year. 

“It was a joint venture between me and him. We thought it’d be fun and we’d never seen the likes of it,” Jillings said. He explained that four person canoes take much more skill than two person canoes. “It is much harder to make them go straight and to go fast. When you start turning, it is harder to correct and it is more people to get in time. On the other hand, they go much faster and are really fun. There is also more camaraderie.” 

Sophomore racer Peter Lauro also explained that racing a canoe is very different from paddling a canoe recreationally. “The racing stroke is different than a recreational stroke. Strokes must be faster and shorter and keeping in time is really important,” said Lauro. 

Hamilton College Team 436, consisting of students Kate Bennert ‘12, Cuffy Winkler ‘10, Noah Carr ‘10, and Peter Lauro ‘12 came in second place with a time of 1:32. Jeff Chandler ’11, James Hogan ‘11, Matilda Andersson ‘10, and Devin Farkas ‘10 (Team Dayglo) came in third with 1:42, and Andrew Pape ‘11, Rosie Haroutunian ‘10, Christine Roback ‘12, and Katrina Rabeler ‘12 (Team Kirkland) were fifth with a time of 2:05. 

All of the students were new to four-person canoes and only two had ever raced a canoe. 

Despite their inexperience, the students were happy with the race. Matilda Andersson said, “It was nice to change things up and be in the Adirondacks.”
“For only three practices I think we did very well,” added Cuffy Winkler. 

Jillings was also pleased with the students’ performance. “I think it went extremely well. The weather was perfect, the racing was competitive. I couldn’t have asked for better,” he said. 

Jillings and Assistant Director of Outdoor Leadership Sarah Weis also raced. They competed in the actual 15 mile long boat championship race using war canoes (also known as voyagers). Jillings’s team came in second in the war canoe division.
The AWA is arranging to make the college race an annual event. “Plans are already afoot to do it again next year with more training,” said Jillings.

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