On Saturday, July 30, the masters of Northampton Community Rowing headed down to Methuen City Sprints for a big day of racing. This was the team's final regatta day before heading to Masters Nationals on August 18-22. The Methuen site is characterized by a geographical oddity: while some teams park their trailers behind the small boathouse, most are relegated to a field beyond a narrow footbridge. As a result, Hamp Crew carried their boats across the bridge before rigging them and the team parked all the bags and the tent in the shade nearby.
Rowers arrived at 7 a.m. and set up for racing in the open, masters, and mixed masters categories. In a change from other regattas this season, Methuen does not adjust for age handicaps in the final times.
From the docks, the course wound between an island and the shore before widening onto the river and the course. Shuttles ran from the boathouse to a neighboring restaurant, Casa Blanca, where there was a view of the finish.
The 1,000-meter course itself was a fairly straight shot. There was a slight cross-head wind throughout the day, which caused some gusts during the races and a bit of ruffled water.
The women's open 4+ raced at 9:12 a.m. and finished fourth (04:45.30) behind MSTRS Coaching, Independence Rowing Club, and the strong Upper Valley (04:07.00)—a team that would continue medal dominance throughout the day.
At 9.33 a.m., the women's masters 8+ raced against a full field and finished a solid third (4:08.91), beating Essex A, Merrimack, and Essex B, but behind Farmington Valley and winners Upper Valley (4.03.50).
After lunch, the women's masters 4+ headed out for their two races. Northampton B finished third (4:16.16) behind Upper Valley B and winners Litchfield Hills (4:05.75), but ahead of Essex A, Upper Valley A, and Essex B.
Northampton A also finished third (4:22.97), ahead of Westford-Littleton and Holyoke Rows, but behind Upper Valley C and the winning MSTRS Coaching boat (4:10.55).
Finally, the mixed open 8+ finished the day at 3:30.83 and in second-place, falling to Upper Valley A (3:25.18), but placing ahead of Essex, Upper Valley C, Litchfield Hills, and Upper Valley B.