PELHAM, N.Y. Rowers from Pelham, Bronxville, Mamaroneck and other towns with the Pelham Community Rowing Association (PCRA) competed with heavy hearts at the USRowing Club Nationals in Camden, N.J., last weekend.
Fifteen-year-old Tyler Madoff, a member of the PCRA, went missing off the coast of Hawaii on July 4 when a wave carried him away from his tour group. The search for Madoff continued in the week leading up to nationals, but hope for a rescue waned with each passing day.
Finally, on Sunday, PCRA Junior Head Coach Guy Monseair addressed his rowers with pure emotion in his voice.
The last thing Tyler would have wanted was to be your anchor, Monseair said. Rather, let him be your sail.
And so they did, with T-shirts honoring their friend and teammate. The crew had a new boat, a Vespoli V1 8+ crew shell for which the PCRA fundraised at an ergathon in March, and decided to name it Tyler.
The girls' team rowed Tyler to a dominating victory in the blue-ribbon event, the Junior A 8+. The team finished 10 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Community Rowing, Inc. from Boston. PCRA ended CRIs four-year winning streak and became the first New York State Club to win the event in Club Nationals history.
Four members of that team rowed to victory and set a USRowing Championship record in the Girls Quadruple Sculls. Two other members of the 8+ team won the bronze medal in the Junior A Double Sculls event.
The wins capped the most successful PCRA performance at nationals in the clubs history.
After the Championship 8+ victory, the crew gathered for a private ceremony in which team captains Nina Byers of Bronxville, Yasmine Hemida of Mamaroneck and Jake Marshall of Pelham unofficially christened Tyler in front of family, friends, coaches and a representative from Vespoli.
From a report by Amy Lindsay/Pelham Community Rowing Association