row2k Features
A commentary
Head of the Ponds Regatta Report
September 17, 2021
Daniel Schley

Saturday, September 11th, saw the running of the second annual Head of the Ponds regatta on beautiful Mashpee-Wakeby Pond on Cape Cod. This year’s record turnout included rowers from 16 rowing clubs ranging from the most prestigious (and waterlogged) clubs along the Schuylkill River, north to Boston and east to the outer banks of Cape Cod.

The Head of the Ponds ranks as one of the more challenging racecourses in the country, running a full 7,500 meters, more than 50% longer than the typical head race. Adding to the challenge, the Head of the Ponds requires that competitors traverse two large bodies of water which are connected by a narrow 400 meter passage.

Entering Wakeby Pond to the north, the course circumnavigates three islands and one ominous point of land before the final run to the finish. Given the challenging nature of the racecourse, competitors are required to have ample head racing experience in a single or the bow of a double or quad. In the understated words of racecourse designer and three-time Olympian, Jim Dietz, “This racecourse is not for the faint of heart!”

Head of the Ponds racecourse
Head of the Ponds racecourse

This year’s competitors included an all-star cast of storied Olympians who represented the United States in both sweep and scull in the 1972, 1976, 1992, 2000, 2012, 2016 and 2021 Olympics. Their supremacy on the water was ably challenged by a nearly equal number of men and women ranging in age from 13 to 82.

Leading all of the competitors from start to finish with a lightning-fast time of 31:29 was three time Olympian and silver medalist, Gevvie Stone, who had the distinction of unceremoniously passing her father, Gregg Stone, somewhere between Jefferson and Cleveland Islands. Surprising no one, Gevvie had the fastest overall time among all of the singles, doubles and two triples.

First place in the Men’s Single: three-time Olympian and silver medalist in the Men’s Eight, Boston native, Tom Darling, who finished in 33:33.

And then putting a smile on everyone’s face including one very proud papa, the commanding performance of young Teagan Farley, who at age 12 set a world record on the erg with a 7:24 2k, and who had the pleasure of passing quite a number of elite scullers who remain in denial.

Teagan holds four world records on the erg including a 7:24 2k at the age of 12! Teagan finished in 38:09, fourth place among the women.

Said Teagan when asked if she was nervous about rowing in her very first singles race, “I am more nervous about meeting Gevvie Stone!” How cute is that ??

The medal winners proudly displaying their championship trophies:  Ponds Cold Cream.
The medal winners proudly displaying their championship trophies: Ponds Cold Cream.

Olympians and competitors, Jim Dietz, Gevvie Stone, Gregg Stone and Tom Darling
Olympians and competitors, Jim Dietz, Gevvie Stone, Gregg Stone and Tom Darling

A wonderful shot of the winner of the Women’s Single,  Gevvie Stone.
A wonderful shot of the winner of the Women’s Single, Gevvie Stone.

Another shot of Gevvie Stone sprinting for the finish line!
Another shot of Gevvie Stone sprinting for the finish line!

Warming up with Gevvie, our youngest and fiercest competitor, Teagan Farley, rowing in her first ever race at age 13.
Warming up with Gevvie, our youngest and fiercest competitor, Teagan Farley, rowing in her first ever race at age 13.

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