MUHS, Mt. Abe pull in Otter Creek rowing race

VERGENNES — This past Saturday, Nov. 3, was a bone-chilling, yet heart-warming day for 142 youth rowers from Chittenden and Addison counties who participated in the Otter Creek Challenge, a three-mile rowing race on Otter Creek.
It was 40 degrees and pouring rain at race time but rowers were fired up to go. The course started at the Vergennes Basin on Otter Creek just below the waterfall in downtown Vergennes and wandered 1.5 miles downstream and then back to a 180-degree turn in the Vergennes Basin at the finish line.
The novice division rowers rowed a slightly shorter two-mile course.
INTERMEDIATE FOUR-OAR DIVISION teams from Burlington and Mount Abraham Union high schools line up for the start of the Otter Creek Challenge below the Vergennes falls this past Saturday. Photo by Buzz Kuhns
Crews competed from Vergennes and Mount Abraham union middle and high schools, Champlain Valley Union High School, Burlington High School, South Burlington High School and Rice Memorial High School.
In the four-oared novice division two-mile race, SBHS prevailed with a time of 30:10. In the four-oared intermediate division three-mile race BHS was first with a time of 41:51. In the six-oar novice division two-mile race SBHS again claimed first-place honors (28:53). In the six-oar intermediate three-mile race SBSH again took first place (38:38) and in the experienced six-oar division VUHS was first (33:10).
It is fair to say that on this day all rowers persevered through extremely adverse conditions and should be extremely proud of their accomplishment.
The Otter Creek Challenge is run by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s (LCMM’s) Champlain Longboats program. All boats used in this race were built at LCMM by area high school students and are part of museum’s active fleet of 19 rowing boats.

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