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Scituate's Inly school to compete in Icebreaker rowing tournament

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  November 8, 2011 01:56 PM

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Students compete at last year's Icebreaker. (Photo courtesy of Muffy Antico)

The Inly School in Scituate will bring out its best rowing vessel and most passionate students this month in Hull to compete in one of the region’s most competitive youth rowing events.

The Icebreaker: Northeast Regional Youth Open-Water Rowing Championships draw 200 of the region’s best young open-water rowers who hails from such places as Boston, Lake Champlain, Maine’s North Haven and Avery Point, Conn.

The round-robin-style heats are designed to give each school an equal chance at the prize, culminating in a nautical mile race across the bay at the end of the day.

Inly, a Montessori middle school, has participated in the event in the past three years, winning First Place in the Crewmaster Sprints for Novice Coxed Fours in 2009, and in 2010, winning First Place in the Crewmaster Sprints for Novice Pilot Gigs, and students are looking forward to the race yet again this time around, school staff says.

This year, Inly will have one boat in the competition filled with eight-grade students, all of whom have been participating in the school’s rowing program for the past year.

According to Sally Sisson, with Inly’s communications office, all seventh and eighth graders in the school train every Friday for half the day as part of the school’s curriculum.

Students trek out to the Hull Lifesaving Museum and row with faculty and Inly staff, learning the skills of rowing as well as some other life lessons.

“What they find is it’s a physical and athletic endeavor as a sport, but just as much, it’s about teamwork and mental focus,” Sisson said. “A lot of it is about concentration, and figuring out how to row together as team members and follow directions. There is a lot of discipline involved.”

Students are initiated into the program with a row out to the Boston Harbor Islands, where they camp out with staff for two days before rowing back home.

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Inly students bundle up for last year's races. (Photo courtesy of Muffy Antico)

“It’s a way for them to bond with each other. They do a lot of teamwork, and it’s pretty unique… and it's part of the whole Montessori curriculum, the rowing is a component of that,” Sisson said.

As such, the team will enter this race well prepared to row in unison with the hopes of winning the “Key to the Harbor” award.

It’s an anticipated moment for students, especially as this competition is the Montessori school’s one big race of the year.

Yet despite the chilly wind and, at times, rough waters, the scenic atmosphere and energetic races make the event one widely enjoyed by the Inly community, Sisson said.

The event will take place at the Windmill Point Boathouse in Hull on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Those looking for more information on the race should contact Lory Newmyer at 781-925-5433.

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