OSWEGO – The Nerds got their ROWvenge on Saturday afternoon.
ROWvenge of The Nerds rowed to first place in the annual Oswego Dragon Boat Festival competition.
Rock and Row was right on their tail, taking second place.
Cre8 Shenanigans stroked into third place followed by Friends of Oswego in fourth.
The top fundraising team was C’s the Dragon.
The Best Tent honor was awarded to the Women on Water team.
ROWvenge of The Nerds was also cited for best costumes
The winner of the Heroes Challenge (Friday night) was the NYS Troopers team.
Racing was held on Lake Ontario, next to Breitbeck Park starting at 9:30 a.m. with championship races culminating at approximately 3 p.m.
Teams of 20 paddlers, a drummer and steerer raced in authentic Hong Kong-style, 40-foot-long dragon boats on a 200-meter course.
The event was open to all skill levels and physiques, making it the ultimate team building sport, requiring synchronicity and finesse, more than power to win, organizers said.
The Oswego YMCA partnered with 22 Dragons from Montreal, Canada, to bring dragon boat racing to Oswego.
The festival is a fundraiser for the Oswego YMCA.
Money raised from the festival provides access to youth, families and seniors in the Oswego County community to YMCA programs such as Y Day Camp, SACC-School Age Child Care, swim lessons, membership, senior programming and more.
No practice paid off, quipped “Kaptain Nerd” Rene Ferris of ROWvenge of the Nerds.
“We practiced zero amount, we did the math. We did the schematics and, we hit the drawing board, the chalk board, and we figured out our stroke ratio, velocity – all that good stuff,” he told Oswego County Today. “What you couldn’t see (in our boat) from the shore was the laptops and Ipads.”
The flew over the 200-meter course in slightly more than 55 seconds the first heat and came back in heat two to post a 52-seconds time en route to their overall winning effort.
Meredith Furlong was captain of the Rock and Row squad.
Yes, there is a connection to the Furlongs that call Oswego Speedway home on Saturday nights during the summer, she noted.
“I’d say about 50 percent of our team has done this since the first year. We know how to get in sync and work as a team,” Furlong explained. “We’ve been active since it all started. Because people have different obligations, we’ve had to switch out a little bit and this year we’ve had to switch out more than we usually do. They’re all pretty athletic. We’re all competitive on this race team.”
They raised enough funds to have an extra practice.
“But this year, half our people couldn’t come to the extra practice. We had one really good practice,” she said. “It’s really fun out there and it’s for a good cause. We had a 52 point something our first race. Don’t know if we can keep it up. But we’re going to try. We don’t really pay attention to what the top times are. We just race against ourselves and keep trying to do better.”