Marrow poses during the Granite State Sculling Championship.
On May 28th, 2023, two Winnacunnet seniors dominated the Granite State Sculling Championship with Great Bay Rowing.
“We pretty much wiped the floor, for lack of better words, but it was a close race,” Cayden Marrow said. “We had a couple different boats competing that day. In the overall competition, we got the most points.”
Both Molly Robie and Marrow started with Great Bay Rowing during the fall of their junior year.
“I found out about Great Bay Rowing through word of mouth,” Robie said. “I was trying to, basically, transfer out of soccer, which I had been playing for years, and I wanted to find a new sport. I have a bunch of family friends who have done it (rowing) and I just thought I would give it a try and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”
Robie and Marrow expressed that winning the Granite State Sculling Championship was extremely rewarding for both of them.
“I mean, the racing itself is very high in intensity and very energetic. We are pouring all our energy out onto the water and so, when it all comes to the end, especially if you won, the endorphins just sort of rise to the surface and everyones happy and catching their breath. It doesn't matter if one person messed up in the race or something happened because if you came out on top, that's all that matters. There’s a feeling of unity there.”
Leading up to these regattas, Robie and Marrow said they go through a series of extensive training to prepare for the vigorous events.
“We train five days a week for practice as a novice team but once you reach varsity level, you are training six days a week,” Robie said. “Practices are two hours long but usually I try to get there a couple minutes early to rig up the boats and get things ready. We have regattas on the weekend once our season really gets started, which are usually either full day or 3/4 day events, so it's a pretty time-consuming sport but it's totally worth it”
Both Robie and Marrow spoke about the sport with great passion and knowledge.
“You have to commit and rely on your teammates 100% in the boat,” Robie said. “It's kind of like this unspoken agreement,’if I’ve got you, you have to get me.’ We have to support each other, otherwise no one is going to do well, and I think being in a sport like this really makes you bond with your teammates.”
Although they both expressed enjoyment of the sport, Marrow said there were difficulties.
“I'd say I struggle a lot with balancing school and rowing because rowing takes up, pretty much, four hours of my life everyday,” Marrow said. “That's the biggest struggle for me, getting home at 8:00 PM and doing homework until late and not having much free time.
He also shared his tips on how Winnacunnet students can balance their priorities and commitments.
“Time management skills, that’s the basic answer,” Marrow said. “But what that means is being efficient and setting goals for yourself. Anyone can do the work, I would say, it’s a matter of getting it done and not procrastinating.”
New ELO coordinator, Matt Long, participated in Great Bay Rowing from eighth grade up until his junior year, a captain in his last year.
“It’s one of the ultimate team sports because you're in a boat and everyone needs to be rowing at the exact same time in the exact same way or else you're going to fail,” Long said. “So, communication is a key takeaway for sure. Being able to communicate clearly and effectively what I needed. It also taught me the value of hard work.”
Both Robie and Marrow hope to continue the sport into college and beyond.
“Rowing is kind of a lifetime sport,” Robie said. “So, the fact that I love this sport so much and I know I can continue it for as long as I wish too or as long as I'm physically able, just makes me really happy.”
As of right now, Winnacunnet only has rowing machines set up for teachers use.
“There are efforts in place to extend access to students,” Marrow said.
If anyone is interested in becoming a member of the Great Bay Rowing Club, Robie said she is more than happy to help you get started.
“You would have to join the novice team and being a novice just means, according to U.S. Rowing, that you're in your first year of competitive racing,” Marrow said. “So, you can’t move up to varsity until you've completed a year of novice and most novices join in the Fall, but you can pretty much join at any point in the year.”