This year’s Crusher Casey Classic was the most heavily subscribed in recent history. With four 8’s entered and 7 singles, the 3.4k stake-turn race required a brand-new format, facilitated by Crusher Casey organizer and men’s sweeps captain, Charles “the commissioner” Wu.
The day began at 9:00AM with the boat dedication ceremony. After getting the crowd warmed up with some topical observations, and a few witticisms, Captain Wu handed the mic over to Caro who started off boat dedications. Kit Casey, Chris Dyke, Jim Hanley, as well as Akamai Technologies were all honored and thanked for the contributions to the club over the years. Stories were told, friends were remembered, and all the boats were christened with sparkling cider, except for the Dyke whose honoree preferred to baptize his boat in some sort of bootleg moonshine concoction. He wasn’t sorry for partying. Boats dedicated, breakfast laid out, loins girded, it was time to get the racing underway.
The race schedule ran as follows:
10:00AM: Wave 1 8+s
10:20AM: 1x’s race
10:40AM: Wave 2 8+s
11:15AM: 8s Final
That’s right. Heats and finals for the Crusher Casey 8’s race. In the first heat, the “B-Leech-er Report” was slated against the “Paul ‘Crusher Casey’ Casey” boat. As both crews launched, the atmosphere was tense. The crowd had already gotten a taste of Alex Barat in a “little mermaid costume,” and they were hungry for some action. The racing did not disappoint. As the gun went off, both crews took it off high and hard. Trading strokes through River Street, “B-Leech-er Report” eventually started to eke out a margin as the Casey crew struggled with getting their dresses and mermaid tails stuck in the tracks and rigging. “B-Leech-er Report” finished in a time of 13:09.46 with the Casey crew exactly 7 seconds back. Tight racing! The winning crew got off the water and began icing, refeeding, and replenishing red blood cell counts with the “team doctor” in the men’s locker room. The losing crew stayed on the water for a little while and had a swim.
Paul “Crusher Casey” Casey and the “B-Leech-er Report”)
As the crews in the second wave of 8’s commandeered their boats, and began making adjustments, the singles went off time-trial style. Kyle “Hurricane” Mabry ripped it off with a blazing start, heading straight for the abutment of the River Street bridge. He adjusted his point however, and finished with a winning time of 14:28.32 sustaining zero damage, bodily or otherwise. Xavier “the Belgian of Bedlam” was hot on his heels, but was unfortunately disqualified for creative interpretation of the Charles River traffic pattern. He finished in a time of 14:52.63. Fightweight Joe Hanna finished second with a time of 15:11.76 followed by Flyweight Krzysztof Danielewicz in a time of 16:22.92. Ed Ballo and Meghan Brundage vied for 4th place, going 18:13.27 and 18:37.66 respectively. Nicholas Daniloff (legend!) brought up the rear with 22:10.56.
By the time all the singles were back on the dock the second wave of eights was ready to go. The unfortunately-named “Couples Boat+Trey” was lined up against the “Masters of Your Disaster.” The masters attempted to claim a handicap on the starting line, but Trey Chandler–men’s sweeps captain emeritus and current VP–cited Article 21, section VI, clause 4.2 “that all Crusher Casey petitions for handicaps shall be submitted in writing, in triplicate, at least one calendar year in advance of the event in question.” The masters were over-ruled and the race was underway. In a fit of rage, the masters jumped hard off the start, deeply shaking the Couples Boat. The young bucks were certainly rattled, but after a thousand meters or so, they managed to pull ahead and win their heat in a time of 13:41.17.
The main event: “B-leech-er Report” versus the “Couples Boat+Trey.” This was what everyone had been waiting for. Smack talk had resounded back and forth across the water and the gunwales all morning. Nerves were frayed and tensions were high. The “BR” boat had some big ergs, and a strong rowing pedigree, but it was whispered around the boathouse that the “CB+T” crew had “intangibles.” No one knew what that meant, but they knew it couldn’t be touched. The race was called, the start went off and the high strokes were punctuated by shouts, taunts, and shots fired over bows generally. Neck and neck, the two crews passed through River Street bridge and out of sight. After that, no one really knows what happened.
Only Igor Belakovskiy and Riley Hall witnessed the stake turn, and they have both agreed never to speak of the event outside of their group therapy sessions. Whatever transpired, CB+T returned to the dock 13 minutes and 18 seconds later, followed by the BR boat, 12 seconds after that.
All in all, it was a great day of racing and celebrating the people and history of Riverside. Think you’ve got what it takes to win Crusher Casey? Well 2x champion boat organizer Brian Frake now has a target on his back! Training starts now!