On a chilly Saturday, November 4th, 19 crews comprised of 132 youth rowers from eight Vermont schools participated in this year’s Otter Creek Challenge – a youth rowing race sponsored by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
The race is held annually at the Vergennes Basin just below the Vergennes Falls. Experienced and intermediate rowers raced 1.5 miles downstream and then returned upstream to the Basin. Novice rowers rowed a slightly shorter course of two miles round-trip. Due to recent rains, the falls and the current were raging making it a challenge to set a starting line. Once off and rowing, the boats traveled down the creek and rounded the buoy to confront a stiff two to three knot current on the upstream leg. All of the youth rowers finished the race in this challenging conditions.
The Otter Creek Challenge is the third of a series of four fall rowing races that rowers from LCMM’s Champlain Longboats program participate in. The fourth and season ending race will be held on November 18th in downtown Boston Harbor.
The boats used in the Otter Creek Challenge were built by youth boat builders from Addison County schools at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
Vergennes placed first in the experienced six-oar division, first in the in intermediate six-oar division, first in the novice four-oar division and third, fourth, fifth, and eighth in the novice six-oar division. Mt. Abraham placed first in the Experienced four oar division and fifth and seventh in the Intermediate six-oar division.
Photo of Otter Creek Challenge, courtesy Buzz Kuhn.