11/13/14 2:45pm
11/13/2014 2:45 PM

It was meant to be a private video shared among parents of local rowers.

Two days later, video footage of last weekend’s Riverhead Snowflake Regatta became a viral YouTube sensation.

The now infamous local video with nearly a half-million views, which exploded after it was shared by sports entertainment website Deadspin, NBC Sports and USA Today among others, was shot and published on YouTube by the mother of a local rower.

“I just happened to be taking video and some of the other parents were like ‘Oh, can you send me that?” explained Mary Kay O’Shaughnessy of Riverhead. “So I posted it and it was not listed. It was not public and I sent it to a few parents.

“I don’t know how it got out there.”

YouTube explains: “Making a video unlisted means that only people who have the link to the video can view it … but it could appear elsewhere on the web if you or anyone who you shared the video with shares it more broadly.”

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The video depicts several mishaps during the annual racing event, including two crew teams stopped in the middle of the course with their boats apparently stuck.

Spectators along the riverwalk can be heard yelling and cursing at the boaters throughout the video.

Ms. O’Shaughnessy admits the video can be a bit misleading, though. At one point, the video shows an eight-women novice team striking a pier, appearing to force a teenage girl overboard as another team passes the rowers by.

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But results show that race featured a staggered start time and the team that struck the pier continued on, and eventually won.

“Not one rower ended up in the water,” Ms. O’Shaughnessy confirmed. “It was very scary, let me tell you, very scary. But they popped back up, not one of them got in the water and they actually won the race.”

And even though websites are making statements like “Riverhead Rowing Sucks!” in headlines, no teams made up of rowers from Riverhead are featured erring in the video.



Ms. O’Shaughnessy, who acknowledged that she licensed the video at the suggestion of others after it went viral, said “it was never my intention to embarrass anybody. Absolutely not.”

“It was for the parents who watched it all happen,” she said. “It was sort of surreal.

“I had some new parents saying, ‘So, this is what happens?” she said. “I said, ‘No, this never happens.’”

One veteran rowing coach who witnessed the races — but asked not to be identified — said these sort of miscues do often happen during novice races.

“This does happen and it’s not a horrible thing,” he said, likening it to foot races where runners stumble over each other.

He said sometimes young rowers can’t hear instructions from their coaches while out on the water, or have trouble seeing over each other, which could make it appear that boats are stuck while the team tries to figured out what to do.

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Ms. O’Shaughnessy said one positive from the video is that it might encourage coaches to address some safety issues within the sport.

“Maybe this can be used as a teaching tool for young kids [to learn] what to do when you get in a situation like that,” she said. “Or, you know, what not to do.”

Ms. O’Shaughnessy said she hopes the video doesn’t cause any trouble for the race organizers at East End Rowing.

“I’m so grateful the Snowflake Regatta is here,” she said. “It’s great for the local kids to go out and row.”

gparpan@timesreview.com

07/04/14 6:00pm
07/04/2014 6:00 PM
(Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

(Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

The Riverhead Business Improvement District’s annual fireworks show has been canceled due to the rain.

“The weather was just too bad,” said BID past president Ray Pickersgill. “We were told by Bay Fireworks and the Fire Marshal’s office that if the wind was too strong we couldn’t do it. I think the ground is a little shaky because of all the rain, too.”

Ultimately, it was a town fire marshal who made the call, BID vice president Martin Sendlewski said in an email.

The 6 p.m. pre-fireworks concert was canceled earlier Friday, according to the BID.

Mr. Pickersgill said the fireworks will be rescheduled for a later date that has not yet been determined.

 

 

06/29/14 7:03pm
06/29/2014 7:03 PM
The crew of the Speedie Edie celebrates its victory down the home stretch of the team's heat of the Fifth Annual Cardboard Boat Race in downtown Riverhead Sunday. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

The crew of the Speedie Edie celebrates its victory down the home stretch of the team’s heat of the Fifth Annual Cardboard Boat Race in downtown Riverhead Sunday. (Credit: Grant Parpan)

With seven kids and two adults on board, it’s hard to imagine the crew of Speedy Edie fitting another person in their boat.

But if you ask the nine passengers what it was that willed them to victory in their heat of the “anything goes” race at the Fifth Annual Carboard Boat Races in downtown Riverhead Sunday, they’ll tell you it was the 10th member of their team: Edie.

Edie Penny of West Islip passed away Saturday. A grandmother to some on the boat, a cousin and friend to others, she was looking forward to the annual Cardboard Boat Race, which her friends and family members, some from Cutchogue, have participated in each of the past three years.  (more…)

12/14/13 7:38pm
12/14/2013 7:38 PM
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTOS | The Riverhead BID's 14th annual holiday bonfire was held Saturday.

JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTOS | The Riverhead BID’s 14th annual holiday bonfire was held Saturday.

There were two new additions to this year’s 14th annual Holiday bonfire held in downtown Riverhead Saturday night: floating fire pits and snow.

Riverhead BID president Ray Pickersgill said he believes Saturday night’s bonfire was the first time in the annual event’s history that it snowed. The BID also tested floating firepits in the Peconic River and is considering purchasing dozens more for future events, he said.

Santa arrived by boat shortly after nightfall and later settled into a gingerbread house where kids waited on line eager to tell him how good they’ve been this year.

The bonfire — sponsored by the downtown Business Improvement District’s management association, Suffolk County National Bank and Blue Duck Bakery — featured free hot chocolate with whipped cream and cookies. The event was the brainchild of former councilman Ed Densieski.

Mr. Pickergill said Saturday bonfire was dedicated to the memory of Loretta Trojanowski, who died in August.

jennifer@timesreview.com

11/10/13 3:07pm
11/10/2013 3:07 PM
BILL LANDON PHOTO | Riverhead High School rowers at the Snowflake Regatta Sunday.

BILL LANDON PHOTO | Riverhead High School rowers at the Snowflake Regatta Sunday.

Hundreds of rowing enthusiasts descend on the Peconic Riverfront in downtown Riverhead Sunday for what has become a fall tradition — the annual Snowflake Regatta hosted by East End Rowing Institute.

Teams from both Riverhead and Bishop McGann-Mercy high schools participated in races along the 3,500 meter course Sunday.

View photos from the event below:

10/13/13 3:46pm
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The 38th Annual Riverhead Country Fair was held on the Peconic Riverfront Sunday morning.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOS | The 38th Annual Riverhead Country Fair was held on the Peconic Riverfront Sunday morning.

Despite overcast skies and chilly breezes, the 38th annual Riverhead Country Fair drew thousands of people to the downtown area on Sunday.

One of the largest festivals in New York State, the fair celebrates Riverhead’s agricultural heritage and features displays and competitions, live music, vendors and family-friendly entertainment.

See the photos at northforker.com

09/07/13 6:00pm
09/07/2013 6:00 PM

RACHEL YOUNG PHOTO | Nick Raynor, 14, of Riverhead has participated in the snapper tournament for the past several years.

The docks along the Peconic Riverfront were filled with fishing enthusiasts today for the Town of Riverhead Recreation Department’s 16th annual Snapper Tournament.

Recreation program coordinator Jim Janecek said about 130 people registered for the event, which focuses on getting children and adults interested in fishing and raising money for the recreation department’s scholarship fund.

Winners of the adult (over age 16) and youth divisions (under age 16) were chosen based on the size of the fish they caught and awarded a rod and reel. Trophies were awarded to the top-three finishers in each division.

Nick Raynor, 14, of Riverhead said he’s been fishing “all his life” and that this was the fifth or sixth year he’s participated in the tournament. On Saturday, he caught a snapper measuring 9 and 2/8 inches, putting him in third place for the youth division as of 1 p.m.

“The Snapper derby is a good program,” said Nick, who is a freshman at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School. “It’s fun. I come every year and I plan to keep coming every year.”

ryoung@timesreview.com

08/28/13 7:00pm
08/28/2013 7:00 PM

FISHING: Snapper tournament The Town of Riverhead Recreation Department will host its annual Snapper Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 7, on the Peconic Riverfront. The focus of the tournament is to get youths and adults involved in fishing and to raise money for the recreation department’s scholarship fund. A rod/reel will go to the winner of the adult (16 and older) and youth (under 16) divisions. Trophies will be awarded to the top three finishers in each division. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 100 registrants. Pre-registration is available by calling (631) 727-5744, ext. 0, or in person at the recreation department at 55 Columbus Avenue, Riverhead. On-site registration will begin at 10 a.m. on the Peconic Riverfront. The tournament will begin at 11 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Anglers must supply their own poles and bait. In case of inclement weather, call (631) 727-5744, ext. 30 for updated information the morning of the event. The rain date is Sunday, Sept. 8.