Welcome! During Spring Family Weekend the Deerfield boys and girls rowing teams and coaches along with parents, alumni, family and friends gathered at the Hammerschlag Family Boathouse to officially welcome the new fleet of Filippi boats into the family of Big Green rowing shells. The eleven new boats were christened and their names were announced, as is the tradition with the addition of any new boats to a rowing fleet.
The delivery of the boats marked the culmination of a project started last fall when the rowing coaches recognized a unique opportunity to partner with Filippi, one of the finest international rowing shell manufacturers, to improve and streamline the make-up of Deerfield’s racing and training fleet. Funds were raised from alumni and parents, as well as through the sale of our older fleet, and in late February Deerfield took delivery of the eleven new boats – comprised of seven 4-person shells and four 8-person shells. The new boats were then loaded onto the trailer for the rowing teams’ annual preseason trip to the University of Central Florida, where they took their maiden voyage on the waters of Lake Pickett in Orlando.
“This has been an extremely exciting project to be a part of and we are incredibly thankful for the support of both the school, as well as our parents and alums, all of whom were integral in making the purchase of these exceptional racing shells a reality. In an effort to ensure the best on the water experience for our kids, partnering with Filippi made great sense and we look forward to working with them as our program continues to grow. More than anything, though, through this process, we have been amazed and humbled by the passionate and enthusiastic support that exists for Deerfield Rowing. We feel so fortunate to be working with such a dedicated and generous group of students, parents, and alums and we are eager to do all we can to make these boats fly down the race course.” – Deerfield Head Rowing Coaches Spencer Washburn and Melanie Onufrieff.
An Italian company that has been making racing shells since 1980, Filippi has emerged in recent years as the preferred hull design for top international crews. Filippi has achieved unparalleled success at the elite level, and it is now eager to see more college and high school crews racing in their boats. Prior to the purchase of new boats, we had only one Filippi shell in the fleet, used as the boys’ first boat since 2014 – a boat that has won four straight NEIRA championships along with one championship and three bronze medals at US Youth Nationals.
The boys and girls rowing teams began the spring season looking to defend several titles earned in 2017. The boys rowing team captured the team NEIRA championship last season, for the first time in program history, and the 1V4+ boat went on to win the gold medal at the US Youth National Championships before traveling overseas to compete in the prestigious Henley Royal Regatta. In 2018, the girls rowing team will look defend its’ 1V4+ boat NEIRA championship gold medal and first place finish in the US Youth National Championship B Final.
So far so good this season, as the boys and girls are off to a great start in their new Filippi shells; already both teams have captured two wins in as many races. Up next for the Big Green is the Founder’s Day Regatta this Sunday, May 6th at the Gunnery.
Many thanks to all of those who made this exciting project possible, and GO BIG GREEN!!!
View the Rowing Boat Dedication photo album here.