Hens End on a High Note

St. Catharines, Ontario

Barreling down the course in a frenzied dash for the finish line, lightweights Jimmy McCullough ’19 and Nic Pereira ’19 stroked the winning Under-23 Heavyweight Eight and catapulted Vesper Boat Club to the Wyandotte Trophy for the first time since 2012 at the 135th Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. In blustery tailwind conditions, the Delawarean duo pushed the Vesper Eight clear of second place Sarasota by just over two seconds and open water over last year’s champions Mendota RC. With a time of 5:34.08, Vesper captured the gold medal over Sarasota, Mendota ‘A’, University of Victoria, Mendota ‘B’, and California Rowing Club.

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Jimmy and Nic’s resounding victory comes just weeks after the pair delivered the same feat in the Intermediate and Senior Lightweight Eights at the USRowing Club National Championships. After that regatta, they and two other lightweights joined forces with four Vesper heavyweights to form this composite crew. In addition to their victory in the Eight, the Hens also made the finals in the Under-23 Lightweight Four without Coxswain and Jimmy raced the Under-23 Lightweight Double before hopping into the Under-23 Lightweight Pair with Nic. The two Delaware athletes are eager to return to the squad in two weeks, having now won the Varsity Lightweight Eight at Dad Vails, both Lightweight Eights at Club Nationals, and the Heavyweight Eight at Henley. In addition to the sweep side results, Brian Kungl ’19 and Mark Couwenhoven ’19 continued to prove their talent in sculling events.

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Fresh from a finals appearance in the Intermediate Double Sculls for both athletes and a bronze medal in the Intermediate Single at Club Nationals for Mark, he and Brian took to the Under-23 Lightweight Single race. Against fierce competition, both fared immensely well, showing American grit in an event dominated by world class scullers; the Single final was populated by five international entities, eventually being won by an Argentinian athlete, followed by a sculler from Mexico, with a Canadian rounding out the top three. Mark faced the same challenge in the Under-23 Double, with half the final being elite Canadian scullers. Much like Jimmy and Nic, Mark and Brian are both returning to the First State at the end of the month as 2017 Dad Vail gold medalists and will seek to continue their hot streak.

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Elsewhere in the rowing community, heavyweight coxswain Jake Filby ’18 will continue to coach the growing scholastic program at Unionville High School. During the 2016-17 year, he coached the novice boys team to a third place finish at the USRowing Mid-Atlantic Regional Championships, and for the upcoming 2017-18 season, he has been named coach for the varsity boys squad. Looking to lead them to a second consecutive appearance at the SRAA National Championships, Jake will both coach and cox for his final year at Delaware.

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Organized practices for the entire squad resume on August 28th, where the lightweights and heavyweights seek to continue the momentum of their spring and summer seasons. Formal competition begins on Saturday, October 14th at the Navy Day Regatta in Philadelphia.