September 25th, 2013
NRC Hosts 3rd Annual Paddle And Oars Challenge
Siblings Jillian and Joey Roy kayaking. Photo: Ms. Lo
NEWBURGH– on September 22, the Newburgh Rowing Club hosted the 3rd Annual ‘Great 5-Mile Paddle and Oars Challenge,’ with over 80 participants, and more than 200 people total in attendance, said Coach Ed Kennedy, Director of Programs at the Newburgh Rowing Club.
“We had an absolutely perfect day,” said Coach Kennedy, “we had more than twice as many participants as last year, and we had people in kayaks, canoes, gig boats, and crew shells, virtually every muscle powered vessel available.”
“The purpose of this event is to commemorate the 146th anniversary of the ‘Great 5-Mile World Rowing Championship,’ which took place right here in Newburgh, in the year 1857. There were over 80,000 spectators who came to Newburgh and watched that grand race. At the time, it was the largest athletic event that had ever been witnessed in America.”
“This event is yet another step in restoring Newburgh’s glorious past, and celebrating our deep rowing heritage. We set it up as a ‘challenge,’ not a race, so that we could open it up to more people, and the community responded in a big way. We had many families join us, with parents and children, and siblings kayaking or rowing together. We successfully raised funds for beautification of the Ward Brothers Memorial Park, the City of Newburgh Park on which the Newburgh Rowing Boathouse is located, for shoreline restoration, as well as for our scholarship programs, which open up the sport of rowing to a wide array of children in the City of Newburgh.”
“It was great to kayak along the Newburgh shoreline, with the mountains in the background,” said Michael DeCapua, a junior at NFA and a longtime youth member of the Newburgh Rowing Club. “We had people coming in from other towns and from as far away as Pennsylvania,” said Team Mom Juliana LoBiondo. “It was a great mix of families from all parts of the community, our own rowing families, and kayakers who have heard about this event through the kayaking community. Everyone pitched in and helped out in every way possible, from the parents making the pancake breakfast, to the many businesses and families who sponsored the event. It’s wonderful to know that the Newburgh Rowing Club is helping to make the City of Newburgh a better place."