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Sunday, May 19 News

Founder’s Day Regatta to be held on Lake Waramaug

Schools from around the Northeast will gather on the waters of Lake Waramaug to compete in the 60th Founder’s Day Regatta May 5 at Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent.

Twenty-three high school teams, with more than 1,000 student athletes, are scheduled to participate.

“Six decades after it began, Founder’s Day continues to be an outstanding day of competition and sportsmanship, as well as a celebration of our student-athletes and the sport of rowing,” said Lincoln Turner, boys’ crew head coach.

“Perhaps most importantly, it is a celebration of The Gunnery community, without whose support this event could not happen,” Turner said. “Dozens of Gunnery students, faculty members, parents, and visiting coaches generously volunteer their time to ensure that the regatta runs smoothly, efficiently and most of all safely.”

Founder’s Day began in 1959 when Katherine Conroy of Washington bestowed upon the school’s longtime crew coach Rod Beebe a gift of $5,000 and a large sterling silver trophy, originally called the Founder’s Cup.

In the inaugural race, 60 boys from The Gunnery, Choate and Haverford raced over a three-quarter-mile course on the New Preston side of Lake Waramaug, and The Gunnery won the cup.

“As we look back and reflect on 60 years of this event, it is especially important to acknowledge the great leadership and commitment of Coach Beebe, whose dedication to the sport of rowing, The Gunnery and our extended community paved the way for generations of young men and women to participate in the tradition of Founder’s Day,” Turner said.

“We hope to have many of our alumni, students, faculty and friends join us at Lake Waramaug for this special celebration,” he said.

Heats will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until about 12:30 p.m. Following lunch, the afternoon session will begin with novice races and conclude with the grand and petite finals.

Teams will compete for a boys team overall points trophy and a girls team overall points trophy. The boys first boats also race for the George H. Lorenz Memorial Trophy and the girls first boats race for the Kathryn L. Conroy Cup.

Joining The Gunnery on its home course will be Belmont Hill School, Berkshire School, Canterbury School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Connecticut Boat Club, Deerfield Academy, Forman School, Greenwich Academy, Holy Ghost Prep, Hopkins School, Kent School, Lewis Mills High School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Milton High School, Miss Porter’s School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Rumsey Hall, South Kent School, Suffield Academy, Taft School, Thayer Academy, Windsor High School.

The finish line is located at the state park at the northwest corner of the lake, and the colorful school tents and exuberant student and alumni fans make the day a grand occasion for the thousands of spectators and participants.

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Organizing and running the regatta has always been a Gunnery team effort and the coaches, rowers and dozens of volunteers help to make the day a success each year.

Shuttles for all visitors and will run in a loop from the parking areas to the regatta site.

For information on parking and directions, visit www.Gunnery.org/FoundersDay.

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