Buddies on a summer 'row' trip

August 19, 2019 01:30 PM

TROY – Just through the Lock at the Federal Dam in Troy at 10:47 a.m., two shells and a chase boat are making their way down the Hudson River. Buddies from high school have had a dream to row from Mechanicville to New York City.

"This is the last four weeks of work, I'd say, putting it together, planning it,” said Ethan Chaffee, 20, who will be a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. “Getting food, water, gas, that sort of thing. How we're going to rotate out. Tracking it with the tides, row six hours on, six hours off."


They were supposed to launch at 7 a.m. Monday morning but had problem with the motor of the chase boat that held all their gear. It set them back somewhat, but they were upbeat when passing the Ingalls Ave. boat launch in Troy.

"I love being out here on the water, I really do,” Chaffee said. “I rowed in high school. The rest of these guys all still row, though, high school and some in college. We have one guy, my brother, going to Princeton this coming year."

One of the rowers, Peter Lawry of Schenectady, just got back from Junior Worlds in Tokyo where he rowed the same course that will be used in the Olympics next year.

"The way I see it, college is my time to do things,” Chaffee said. “I want to look back on later on and be like, hey, I did that. Isn't it fun to be able to tell people, yea, I'm one of those group of guys that rowed to New York City? It's just fun. It's just a good time to be out here."

Weather permitting, they are expected in New York City Wednesday morning.


WNYT Staff

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