Snowflake Regatta brings crew teams out to the Peconic River

DEANNA ANDES COURTESY PHOTO | The Riverhead Blue Waves 4x boys team, which came in first in its division Sunday.

The Peconic Riverfront in downtown Riverhead looked like a mini Olympic village Sunday.

Crew teams from as far as Nyack and as close as Riverhead and McGann-Mercy high schools descended on the river to compete in the annual Snowflake Regatta.

Times were still flowing in from the races as of 11 a.m., but teams from Riverhead and Mercy had already competed in a pair of heats, including the Men’s Jr. 2x race, which the Riverhead ‘A’ team took second in at 13:48. McGann-Mercy (14:37) placed sixth and the Riverhead ‘B’ squad (14:54) finished seventh in that nine-team race.

The Riverhead women’s JV team took third out of four teams with a time of 16:05 in the 4x final.

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Riverhead’s rowers were wearing shirts that paid homage to coach Al Boghard, who founded the program eight years ago and is currently hospitalized.

“They wanted to show their solidarity for Coach Al,” said fellow Blue Waves coach Ryan Greene.

The regatta is one of about nine events the Riverhead crew team takes part in throughout the school year, but it’s an extra special one since it takes place in the Waves’ backyard.

The event is organized by East End Rowing and features more than 100 crews participating in 20 races, beginning at 8 a.m. and going until 3 p.m.

It is not a head-to-head competition, but rather a timed event.

“You’re racing against the clock,” Coach Greene said. “You go out one boat at a time and whoever has the best time wins.

“It’s a nice community event.”

This year teams were launching from a new dock built this week by East End Rowing with grant money from Suffolk County. The $90,000 grant will also help the group build a boathouse nearby on the riverfront.

Check back later for complete race results.

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