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Scituate’s Inly School to enter Icebreaker rowing tournament

Students compete at last year’s Icebreaker tourney. Students compete at last year’s Icebreaker tourney. (Muffy Antico)
By Jessica Bartlett
Globe Correspondent / November 13, 2011

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

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

The round-robin heats are designed to give each school an equal chance to win, 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 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 pillot gigs. Students are looking forward to the race this time around, school staffers say.

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

According to Sally Sisson of 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 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.

“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 hope 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 Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Further information on the race is available by calling Lory Newmyer at 781-925-5433.

Jessica Bartlett can be reached at jessica.may.bartlett@gmail.com.


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