The Blackburn Challenge is a 20 mile rowing race around Cape Ann. About 400 contestants in rowing craft of all shapes and sizes enjoyed a great weather day. Though it was hazy the sea conditions couldn't have been better. This was my second year as a "chase boat" operator,actually a "station boat". My area of responsibility was from Salt Island to Milk Island. The race did have some moments as far as I was concerned. A single outrigger capsized about 20 yards from my position but the contestant quickly righted his craft and was on his way. A two man dory appeared to loose their way. After passing me I noticed about 30 minutes later they were about 2 miles southeast of me! They had trouble keeping a straight course and "crabbed" their way out to sea. After the last rowers passed I decided to see if things were ok so I headed towards the wayward dory. After I asked if they were allright I joked that they were heading towards Cape Cod and this was a Cape Ann race! One replied by telling me in a sense.... where to go! A short time later I got a message from Race Control that there was a rower in a Banks Dory between Milk Island and Thacher Island who injured his back. I raced to his position and found him tied up to a lobster buoy. He was ok but his back stiffened up and couldn't continue. While towing him in I realized I towed him in during the 2009 race!
Paddleboarders appear out in the haze.
Approaching nun buoy #4.
Joe Sanfillipo and Jeff Muise
Getting a good hold.
Back onboard ready to go.
A canoe with oarlocks!
Damon Cummings' boat "Glass Slipper" carries a kayak!
Outrigger pulls away.
Kayaks and a canoe.
Kayaks near and far.
Mix dory team.
Outrigger and Thacher Island.
Hand paddle power!
Pair of kayaks.
Side by side.
That sinking feeling!
Timing is the key for a straight course!
Heading out to sea....This image is zoomed in!
Towing the dory "Puritan".
Rowing craft on Pavillion Beach.
Colorful craft at the finish.
It's not "soda" and not "pop" or even "soda pop" it's "tonic"!
It's a "rotary" not a "roundabout"!
"Going up the line" is a term used when leaving the island!
A "jigga"is a homemade powerless go-cart!
It's not "Break Time or Coffee Break" it's "Mug-up"!
It's not a "water fountain" it's a "Bubbla"!