Senior rowing captains and coach dedicate new boat "Honor, Heart, Hustle."

The Sacred Heart Greenwich rowing team gathered to celebrate the addition of a new varsity, Vespoli High-Performance boat, Saturday, September 22.  The new Vespoli boat seats eight rowers as well as a coxswain. Head of Upper School Mrs. Jenn Bensen, parents, alumnae, and new Director of Athletics Ms. Elizabeth Dennison attended the dedication service to name the boat “Honor, Heart, Hustle.”

Sacred Heart Greenwich rowing captains place the new name “Honor Heart Hustle,” onto the Vespoli boat. Juliana Collins ’19

Mr. Mike Vespoli founded Vespoli USA Inc. in Hamden, Connecticut in 1980.  The company’s goal is to promote rowing by building fast and durable boats for their customers, according to  Vespoli boats use innovative technology to lift the boat higher out of the water while also comfortably seating the rowers. 

Before the dedication ceremony, the team practiced at their new rowing facility at Row America Greenwich. The practice consisted of several races on the water with both the varsity and junior varsity boats.  After practice, Ms. Dennison welcomed parents of the rowing team to join in the christening of the new boat to share her thoughts on the 2018 season.

“Rowing is a lot about the process of practicing and putting in the work,” Ms. Dennison said.  “You really have to enjoy working hard every day, having integrity, supporting your teammates and all of those things are what we try to do at Sacred Heart.  Naming the boat is a great reminder every day that when you sit in it or see it on the rack of what we are trying to do as an entire community and as a rowing team.” 

Sacred Heart Greenwich’s senior rowers pose together at the dedication ceremony after practicing on the water. 
Juliana Collins ’19

In addition to the dedication, the Sacred Heart rowing team also welcomed back previous head coach Mr. Costel Mutescu.  Mr. Mutescu has been rowing for 30 years and held the position of Executive Director at the Saugatuck Rowing Club from 2013 to 2017.  He also raced in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia with the Romanian National Team.  After the Olympics, he launched his coaching career with the Romanian U23 Development Team. 

Christening a new boat is a tradition where athletes gather to either pour the water that they row on or sparkling cider onto the boat. Senior rowing captains Emma Butler and Juliana Collins and Mr. Mutescu and Ms. Dennison christened the boat by pouring sparkling cider over the bow, which is the back of the boat.

Emma is excited for the start of the new season and is looking forward to racing in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania this year with the more competitive Vespoli boat. 

“Since starting on the team as a freshman, we have come a really long way,” Emma Butler said.  “This christening was a great way to start off the season celebrating with alumni, parents, and rowers.  I think the addition of the new Vespoli boat will allow us to race at a more competitive level.  I look forward to continuing to grow with our new team.” 

Featured Image by Juliana Collins ’19