Despite cloudy skies and windy conditions, hundreds of rowers competed in the sixth annual Long Island Snowflake Regatta hosted by the Town of Riverhead on Sunday. Athletes from Riverhead High School, Mercy-McGann High School and Flanders' East End Rowing Club rowed against teams from as far away as the lower Hudson Valley and Massachusetts on the Peconic River as onlookers watched from the riverfront.
The races began around 8 a.m. and were expected to continue all day to accommodate the large number of participants.
Teams competed in eighteen different races including singles, doubles, fours, and eights. Depending on age and skill levels, racers entered as novices, junior, seniors or masters. For full results see here.
The East End has contributed a lot of talent to the sport, according to officials in the registration booth. Dylan Gould and Ed O'Neill, both of Riverhead, now row for Cornell University after being recruited in high school. Gould and O'Neill represented the United States in the 2011 Men's Under-23 Lightweight Pairs Championship in Amsterdam this year.
Two-time Olympic rower Michelle Zaloom of Mattituck co-founded East End Rowing in 2003, along with Al Borghard, known as the "father of rowing on LI," according to Zaloom. Borghard coaches the Riverhead High School teams. Zaloom offered advice and help to all teams as she called racers to their starts.
"I have a lot of knowledge about this sport, and I love to share it with others," Zaloom said.