“It was neither sunny, nor dry, nor warm, yet everyone did their part to make the day a success,” said Lincoln Turner, Head Coach for The Gunnery’s Boys Crew Team, who expressed his appreciation for the dozens of faculty, students, parents, alumni and volunteers who turned out in support of the event.
Temperatures hovered in the low 50s and wind rippled the surface of the water as spectators endured ankle-deep mud to cheer on the rowers from the shoreline of Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent. “The weather may not have been the best, but it cooperated enough for all of the teams to race, and for spectators to come out and support,” said Mandarin Teacher Tanya Nongera, who coordinated all of the volunteers. The day after the race, she thanked them for their commitment, “and for proving, once again, why The Gunnery is such a great community.”
Founder’s Day began in 1959 when Katherine Conroy of Washington bestowed upon the school’s longtime crew coach Rod Beebe a gift of $5,000 and a large sterling silver trophy, originally called the Founder’s Cup. In the inaugural race, 60 boys from The Gunnery, Choate and Haverford raced over a three-quarter-mile course on the New Preston side of Lake Waramaug, and The Gunnery won the cup.
Joining The Gunnery on its home course this year were: Belmont Hill School, Berkshire School, Canterbury School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Connecticut Boat Club, Deerfield Academy, Forman School, Greenwich Academy, Holy Ghost Prep, Hopkins School, Kent School, Lewis Mills High School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Milton High School, Miss Porter’s School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Rumsey Hall, South Kent School, Suffield Academy, Taft School, Thayer Academy and the Winsor School.
Heats began just after 9 a.m. and continued until a little after 12:30 p.m. Following lunch, teams competed in the novice races and the grand and petite finals through the afternoon. The boys team overall points trophy was awarded to Deerfield Academy and the girls team overall points trophy went to the Connecticut Boat Club. Deerfield won the George H. Lorenz Memorial Trophy in the boys first boat race and Connecticut Boat Club took home the Kathryn L. Conroy Cup in the girls first boat race.