On Mother's Day, the Kent crews packed up the trailer with four-person shells and headed to Lake Waramaug twenty minutes from School for the 52nd Founders Day Regatta. This fours regatta has been part of Kent’s schedule for about eight years and we always look forward to it. Founders falls at the midpoint of the season. We break our eights into fours and have a little fun racing without the added pressure of our NEIRA schedule. This year proved to be another successful one for Kent crews. The boys novice crew proved their mettle by racing in a "finals only" event in the afternoon and placing second out of a field of six, despite losing a seat with three hundred meters to go in the race! They were vying with Choate for first place and were well ahead of the rest of the field when the mishap occurred. While watching the field make up ground on the disabled Kent boat, the boys, driven on by Mimi Tamkin continued to pull hard and crossed the line in second place!
The 5th boat crews, Kent A and Kent B, comprised of rowers from boys third boat, had strong morning heats. The Kent A boat won and the Kent B boat placed a strong second to Choate as they held back to conserve energy for the final. In the afternoon final, the Kent boats both quickly pulled away from their competition and raced each other down the course, battling for first place. With a strong final surge, Kent A beat Kent B boat by a couple of seats while the other four crews came in behind them by open water.
The Kent 4th, Kent 3rd and Kent 2nd fours all had similar results. They all rowed well in the morning winning their heats and beating five other crews with a combination of measured control and low ratings. In the afternoon, however we all knew that Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club, CJRC, would be our main competition. We had raced CJRC in eights on Saturday and our second and third boats lost to a very fast CJRC second boat. The first eight had beaten CJRC in a dramatic race by just over two seconds so we knew that they would be strong opponents in the fours on Sunday. True to form, CJRC, like the Kent fours, won their heats in the morning setting up a grudge match with Kent and other crews in the final in the afternoon. Unfortunately, CJRC proved to be just as strong in the fours as they were in the eights and pulled away from the Kent crews and the field at about the half way mark in each of the three separate races. While K2, K3 and K4 all crossed the finish line in second place to CJRC in their events they did out row four other crews by open water.
The final race of the day then proved to be the pivotal event for the boys point trophy. CJRC had eight more points in the tally than Kent, due to the fact that they had won the previous three events. However, with Kent placing second in the same events and winning the 5th boat race, Kent positioned itself within striking distance.
The boys first four took to the water in a borrowed shell from Trinity with the name 'Eric L. Houston '84" on the bow! When they were warming up towards the starting line for the morning heats we noticed that the shell was riding very low in the water and that our boys were actually too big for the shell. Fortunately, they were able to get out to an early lead in the heat over the other five boats and were able to control the race from the front while compensating for the small hull and turning in the 4th fastest time of the day. In between the heat and the afternoon final, we scrambled around the parking lot looking for a program that would have a larger hull that we could borrow for the afternoon finals.
Luckily, Brunswick had a shell that would fit our crew better and the boys set off for the final with renewed confidence in a much more comfortable shell. The race started quickly with Kent coming off the line in third place behind both Salisbury and Choate. By the settling stroke Kent had pulled even with Choate and was closing in on Salisbury. By the four-hundred meter mark, Salisbury was beginning to fade and Choate was within two seats of Kent. At the five-hundred meter mark, Kent had a ¾ length lead on Choate and both boats had open water on the field. At the seven-hundred fifty meter mark, Choate put on a strong surge to which Kent responded with a surge of their own which broke the Choate boat and Kent moved ahead by open water. At the front of the field Kent then settled into a strong rhythm and continued to pull away winning the event by around seven seconds. With the win, Kent secured the boys point trophy for the 6th year in a row!