Head of the Fish Regatta


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(Kingston, RI) This past Saturday marked the final head race of the season for Rhody as a large group shipped up to Saratoga Springs, NY for the Head of the Fish. The team had 11 entries across 10 events and it was the first race for the novice.

After an hour delay due to fog the day began with Joe Martinez racing the Men’s Collegiate 1x. He covered the 3200 meter course in 13 minutes 1 second. His time was good enough for 3rd overall out of eighteen entries but he was awarded the silver medal as one of his competitors was racing exhibition. Martinez would race another single a few hours later in the Men’s Open Lightweight 1x. In this event he would place 4th out of eight competitors with a time of 15 minutes 1 second. The winds building throughout the day became a huge factor for the later events.

Candid of Joe Martinez (who doesn’t like photos) with his medal from the Collegiate 1x.

Rhody’s other single sculler for the day was Kelly Rothenberger in the Women’s Collegiate 1x. Rothenberger, racing the single for the first time since ACRA’s, completed the course in 15 minutes 55 seconds to place 14th out of twenty-five competitors.

Kelly Rothenberger races Women’s Collegiate 1x

The double of Dante Procopio and Dom Campione raced to a 3rd place finish out of thirteen in the Men’s Collegiate 2x. Their time of 12 minutes 47 seconds was one of only three boats to break 13 minutes in the event as their next closest competitor was 24 seconds behind.

Dante Procopio (left) and Dom Campione (right) with their medals from the Collegiate 2x

The Lightweight 4+ was the lone boat to bring home gold this weekend. The lineup of Connor Dunn, John Mannion, Alex Isabelle, Matt Leal, and coxswain Emily King took to the water against crews from upstate NY and the New England area. They dominated the eight boat field by 32 seconds with a time of 11 minutes 54 seconds. Along with their golds, they won one of the much sought after fish plaques that are given to winning crews.

(Left to right) Matt Leal, Alex Isabelle, Emily King, John Mannion, And Connor Dunn attempt to look “tough” with their gold medals and fish plaque

Rhody had two entries in the Men’s Novice 8+ category with all rowers racing for the first time. The “A” boat of Ian Wyllie, Harrison Elleman, Cameron LaFreniere, Owen Ruote, Brendan Maymon, Noah Key, Aaron Wood, Thomas Gmoser and coxswain Rachel Loffredo placed 11th out of 34 crews with a time of 11 minutes 53 seconds. The “B” boat of David Kozlowski, Andrew Lefebvre, Nick Petrich, Matt Susi, Jamie Mernick, Matt Baltus, Joe Lachance, Tyler Hopkins, and coxswain Sydney Pellerin took 33rd. They finished in 17 minutes 3 seconds after a mid race mishap caused them to lose a significant amount of time. It was good to get the novice in a head race as they will now begin to prepare for the sprint season in the spring.

Novice “A” (Left to right) Thomas Gmoser, Harrison Elleman, Owen Ruote, Noah Key, Brendan Maymon, Rachel Loffredo, Cameron LaFreniere, Ian Wyllie, Aaron Wood
Novice “B” (Left to right) David Kozlowski, Matt Baltus, Nick Petrich, Sydney Pellerin, Tyler Hopkins, Jaime Mernick, Joe Lachance, Matt Susi, Andrew Lefebvre

The Varsity 4+ took to the water around the time the wind started to really pick up. Racing in the Men’s Collegiate 4+, Carl Neff, Colin Moulton, Steve O’Brien, Grady Bolan, and coxswain Max Fullmer, placed a close 4th out of thirty-eight crews. Their time of 12 minutes 28 seconds was good enough to beat over ten boats from the New England area they will undoubtedly face in the spring .

Varsity 4+ in the final strokes of the race

In the Men’s Open 4x event, the double of Dante Procopio and Dom Campione teamed up with Lightweight 4+ member Matt Leal and Will Bernard. Having only 3 practices together in the quad leading up to the race, the crew raced to a time of 14 minutes 23 seconds. Their time was good enough for 4th place even though the boat was made up entirely of lightweight rowers who were dealing with an increasing head wind.

Men’s 4x (stroke to bow) Dante Procopio, Matt Leal, Will Bernard, Dom Campione pulling into the dock after the race

The varsity eights were the last URI boats to take to the water. First up was the V8. Racing in the Men’s First Varsity 8+ event, Steve O’Brien, Colin Moulton, Carl Neff, Connor Dunn, Joe Martinez, Grady Bolan, John Mannion, Alex Isabelle, and coxswain Max Fullmer teamed up for their second race of the day (Martinez’s third). The crew’s 11 minutes 21 seconds placed 4th out of twenty-five in a very tight race as 3rd through 7th place was separated by 5 seconds. Being the only race as an eight this fall, it is a good indicator of potential for the spring season.

Varsity 8 makes a pass at the finish

The Men’s Second Varsity Eight event was next with varsity members Nick Soucy, John Searles, Adam Saluccio, Kyle Higgins and coxswain Emily King joining together with novice rowers Brendan Maymon, Thomas Gmoser, Cameron LaFreniere, and Harrison Elleman. The crew placed 21st in the difficult conditions with a time of 13 minutes 31 seconds.

Second Varsity 8 crossing the finish line

URI also had alumni representation this weekend at the Head of the Fish. Alan Vibber (‘03), who competes for Riverfront Recapture, was entered in both the Men’s Masters 4+ and the Men’s Masters 8+ which was coxed by fellow alum AJ Fournier (‘09). Racing the 8+ event first, the Riverfront boat had the fastest raw time of the thirteen crews (10 minutes 35 seconds) but being a Masters event handicaps are applied and the boat was 3rd after time adjustments were applied. The adjusted Riverfront time was 10 minutes 19 seconds which narrowly missed the overall win by 3 seconds. In the 4+ event, consisting of twenty-one competitors, Vibber’s boat was the 2nd fastest raw time but fell victim to handicap adjustments again as they were pushed to 4th after receiving no time adjustment. The boat was the 2nd fastest “B” boat as Riverfront’s “A” boat, coxed by Fournier, won the event.

Further south in Philadelphia, alumnus Joe Hanna (‘10) raced at The Head of the Schuylkill for Riverside Boat Club. Switching from sweep to scull for this race, Hanna raced the Redgrave Challenge Men’s Championship Lightweight 1x and placed 3rd out of 12 in a time of 18 minutes 12 seconds. Also at this race, Zachary Eberson (’10) competed for Viking Rowing Foundation in the Men’s Masters 8+ event placing 3rd overall and first in his age group with a time of 15 minutes 27 seconds.

The next time Rhody will be racing is at the Alumni Intersquad Rumble on Saturday, November 18th. The team is looking forward to racing with all the names who have come through and helped this program over the past 50+ years. Hope everyone is getting race ready.

Go Rhody!

P.S.- Any alums who are competing at regattas in the future please feel free to contact James Malebranche (jmalebranche@my.uri.edu) and Joe Martinez (jmart624@my.uri.edu) so we can acknowledge your hard work and successes in rowing! 




Date Season
October 28, 2017 2017-2018


Saratoga Rowing Association
Lee\'s Trailer Park, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, USA