Massabesic levels too low to row

For crew team, no water means no boats, no service.

After weeks of not being able to row because of the drought, juniors Heather Ricker and Kiara Breault finally get back on the water.
Photo courtesy of Sean Cavanaugh
After weeks of not being able to row because of the drought, juniors Heather Ricker and Kiara Breault finally get back on the water.

The past few months have been rough on the Lancer Crew team, now in their third season.  The recent drought has left them beached as the water at Lake Massabesic is now too low.

Lake Massabesic supplies most of  Manchester’s water but due to the drought the water has been getting dangerously low.

docks
Art by Melina Illinger with Sean Cavanaugh

One month ago on Massabesic, the dock that is supposed to float on top of the water had about two-thirds of the platform in contact with the lake bottom. The water level should be at least 18 inches deep to have the best rowing experience, and the water level at the time was far from ideal.

“We were so used to there being water at the lake that we took it for granted,” junior crew member Kiara Breault said. “Now all of a sudden we can’t row because of it.”

While the team was able to get into the water for the first few weeks of the season, the receding water level forced the team out of the water for the month that followed.

With a month out of the water, the team had to find other ways to train.

Once the team found out that they couldn’t row, they started scrambling to find a temporary home. No place had much water so Coach Brenda Belanger took the team to Pinkerton to erg, which according to sophomore Ryan Legrow, is a rowing machine that helps build up more power to get a more powerful stroke, enabling you to become a faster rower.

The team went to Pinkerton four days a week for about a month to erg and do core workouts.

“I wanted the team to build muscle and keep their form strong,” Belanger said. “So when we do get out onto the water, we haven’t lost any our skills.”

After the team had spent a month waiting for a place to row on water, the Concord Rowing Club let the team go onto their portion of the Merrimack River for about a week until the town of Hooksett gave the team permission to row on the Merrimack River.

“I am so excited to be back on the water,” senior  Xander Laplante said. “Erging is tiring and exhausting, but helps so much when we get back.”