Sunday, June 24, 2012

Take Me to the River

Yet another benefit of waking up (or being forced to wake up) at the crack of dawn... unexpectedly stumbling upon something like the annual Liberty Challenge.  Every year, on the weekend after summer solstice, the New York Outrigger (a group of dedicated rowers of all levels) hosts an international race that launches from beneath the Manhattan Bridge.  Teams came from all over--Hawai'i, France, Germany, Italy... Washington, D.C.! Similar to the NYC Marathon, there seemed to be an overwhelming sense of camaraderie amongst the rowers.  We caught the beginning of the women's race, which began following a blessing of the canoes by two of the Hawai'ian rowers.  After the boats launched from between the bridges, they looped around Battery Park at the lower end of Manhattan.  Along the way, they inspired a gracious gesture from the Staten Island Ferry, which STOPPED to let them pass by (maybe because it wasn't rush hour).  If I'm not mistaken, they continued up the Hudson and past the Holland Tunnel, before turning around, heading between the Statue of Liberty and Governors Island, reversing course near Red Hook (Brooklyn), and ending up back at Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Unfortunately we'll have to wait till next year to catch the end of the race (2-3 hours total, from what we were told).  Until then, Maura and I might have to take our limited skills to the water and get involved.  

Enjoy the photos!

6:30am: pre-race preparation on Main Street in DUMBO

Blessing of the canoes

A sign of good tidings

Launched with the help of bystanders and competitors from later races

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