story & photo
by Chris Annino
Battle Between the Bridges is unique because Olympic hopeful, Gold Medalist Anna Mickelson and local rowers from the area are invited to compete and sharpen their skills in a non-stressful, yet competitive environment.
Mystic resident, Hart Perry, Executive Director of the Mystic Seaport and world known rowing coach, was instrumental in the establishing of a National Rowing Hall of Fame at the Mystic Seaport..
Goran Buckhorn, Swedish native and current Mystic resident, is one key person to bring an international taste to this growing sport. He works at the Mystic Seaport Museum, and Groton Parks and Recreation. Through their boating club, he helped to generate an interest in the sport. There are some hopes that Mystic might become the next rowing capital of the world. “I started rowing in my early teens in my hometown of Malmo, I was instantly hooked on the sport. Rowing is for everyone, women and men alike, and at any age. You do not have to be “fit” to get something out of your rowing, although, of course your fitness will improve rapidly when you start rowing.”
Goran is the boating coordinatorfor the Groton Community Boating Club. He and a few other members of the club had the idea to invite “National Learn How to Row Day” to help fuel the fire of Mystic’s growing interest in the sport. The holiday is a world holiday that has been celebrated in our country for only eight years. The event was held June 7th. On the same day, the Groton Community Boating Club kicked off their “Go For a Row” series.
“‘Go For a Row’ is an event where we invite Groton residents and people from the surrounding areas to try out rowing for free at our boathouse by Beebe Cove in Noank. Everyone is welcome between 9:00 -11:00 a.m. Other dates during the summer for this event will be: June 28, July 26, and August 30,” Goran said.
Over twenty people came on the 7th of June, some were learning to row for the first time. Among those were Kellsey Butta, a rower for the Fitch Rowing Team, and her father Phil Butta who never rowed in his life. “It’s really cool to see something that I care about getting a second life to it,” said Kellsey.
For more information contact Groton Parks & Recreation at 860.536.5680, or e-mail Goran at firstname.lastname@example.org