POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Pound Ridge residents Kris Petreski and Liam McDonough won a gold medal rowing for Norwalk River Rowing at the 132nd Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in St. Catharines, Ontario.
The Canadian Henley is widely regarded as the premier amateur rowing event in North America. The regatta was held from Aug. 3-10 and attracted 2,173 crews from 136 teams in 10 countries, including the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Great Britain, Kuwait, Lebanon and Mexico.
McDonough and Petreski won their gold medal in the men's Under-17 double (a boat where two rowers each use two sculling oars). Their double took first place in every qualifying race. The final was held in a strong headwind and choppy conditions that caused them to “catch a crab” (where an oar gets stuck in the water and slows the boat dramatically) in the last ten strokes of their sprint. They were able to regain both their composure and the lead.
This is the first Henley gold won by Norwalk River Rowing in the prestigious Canadian Henley Regatta and the only Henley Gold won by a Connecticut crew this year. McDonough and Petreski also rowed the final of the men's single dash (an open age category) with Petreski taking third.
It was a record year for Norwalk River Rowing at the Canadian Henley, with Petreski and McDonough also making finals in the men's Under-17 singles race.
Norwalk River Rowing also advanced four other boats to the semifinals. Pound Ridge resident Kaare Andersen qualified a single for the semis in the mens’ Under-17 singles category. Norwalk River Rowing also qualified for the semifinals in the men's Under-19 four-plus coxswain, in which McDonough and Petreski also rowed; a men's Under-19 pair that missed making the finals by only nine-tenths of a second; and an Under-19 women's double.
“Our rowers were up against some of the finest rowers in the world. A Henley Gold is an impressive achievement. All of our athletes worked hard mentally and physically to get to this point and brought their ‘A game’,'' Norwalk River Rowing coach Yuri Kolomiets said. "They should be very proud of their results. If they continue to master their technique, they should have a very good fall season.”