Mystic, CT (April 5, 2014) — The Stonington High School Crew team and the Friends of Stonington Crew held a ceremony on Saturday April 5, 2014, at Mystic Seaport to name three new boats.
The boat-naming ceremony kicked off the 2014 crew season for the team, now in its 17th year. At a gala dinner fundraiser last fall, the right to name the boats was auctioned off. In addition, new seats and oars for team boats were also ‘auctioned’.
The three boats are now named Thomas D. Sanford, ‘Spike’ Lamy, and Sarah Trowbridge.
John Flaherty, president of Friends of Stonington Crew, the nonprofit fundraising support for the team, which receives minimal funding from the school department, thanked everyone in attendance, as well as Mystic Seaport for again hosting the team on its docks. He said the team would not be able to compete at the level it does without the support of its donors.
Tom and Candy Sanford, longtime supporters of the team, won the right to name the Boys 4 boat, a new boat to Stonington, which typically races 8.
“May those who row this boat enjoy the sport of rowing and the beauty of the Mystic River, and may those who race this boat enjoy quick starts and strong finishes,” Tom Sanford said before pouring sparkling water across the bow. “I christen thee the Thomas D. Sanford.”
Rod and Lucia Johnstone of Stonington (Rod is the co-founder of J/Boats), named the Boys Varsity 1 boat in honor of their niece, Olympic rower Sarah Trowbridge of Guilford (she finished sixth in the double sculls at the 2012 Olympic Games). Sarah was on hand for the ceremony, and participated in the inaugural row.
“I started rowing going into my senior year in high school,” Trowbridge told the team. “This is a sport of quid pro quo — you get out of it what you put into it. I was lucky that my aunt and uncle got me my first boat and I was able to compete.” The Johnstones’ grandson Matt is a member of the crew team.
The third boat was named by Susan Gabrielson, who was unable to attend Saturday’s ceremony. She named the Boys Varsity 2 boat ‘Spike’ Lamy, after a local homeless man. Kate Careb noted at the ceremony that Susan wanted to name the boat for a man who was well known in the community but who likely would never be honored in his lifetime.
The team and FOSC also thanked the seat donors, Tom and Candy Sanford and Edward and Linda Hutter.
And the oar donors:
Dave and Cheryl Reagan
Dan and Kate Careb
David and Kathryn Burchenal
Rod and Lucia Johnstone
Ken and Margo Godfrey
Mike and Margaret O'Neill
Tim and Candy Sanford
For more information on Stonington High School crew, please visit the Friends of Stonington Crew website: http://stoningtoncrew.org/