Strokes Row to Victory in Tenn.

The Oakland Strokes sailing team won several events at the Head of the Hooch Regatta held Nov. 2 and 3 on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tenn.  

The Strokes won the men’s youth lightweight 8+ event by completing the 3.1-mile distance with a time of 14:43.91. Four of the nine-member team attend Alameda high schools. Gavin McLaren, 18; Alex Ward, 15; and Gabriel Seidl, 17; all attend Alameda High School (AHS). Ian Doud attends St. Joseph Notre Dame. Other members of the team include Will Hosler, 17; Adrien Alvira, 16; Jack Vankoll, 17; Max Cole, 15; and Gunnar Holm, 17.

The squad beat the Belen Jesuit Crew (BJC) by less than two seconds. The crew from Miami, Fla., finished with a time of 14:45.24. The Oakland Athletic Rowing Society team finished third with a time of 15:13.75. Montgomery Bell Academy of Nashville, Tenn., finished fourth with a time of 15:17.23. The Atlanta Junior Sailing Club rounded out the top five with a time of 15:18.76.

Seidl was also a member of the team that won the men’s youth lightweight 4+ competition. Other members include Ryan Vaughn, William Payne, Max Cole and Holm. The team won the competition with a time of 15:48.06.

The team also nearly beat BJC, but this time by an even closer margin. BJC finished less than a second behind the Strokes at 15:48.95. The St. Andrew Rowing Club of Roswell, Ga., finished third with a time of 15:51.97. The Miami Beach Rowing Club came in third place with a time of 15:53.98. The second Oakland Strokes team, with McClaren and Ward, finished fifth with a time of 16:12.53. Their teammates were Alvira, Vankoll and Anna O’Reilly, 17.

The Oakland Strokes also won the women’s Lightweight 8+ with a time 16:03.11. Their team does not have any Alameda high school students. 

AHS student Lily Rausser, 17, was a member of the Oakland Strokes team that finished third in the women’s youth 8+ event. Her team came in at 16:04.83. They finished about 11 seconds behind the Chicago Sailing Team.  

Other Alameda high school students to compete in the regatta were AHS students Thomas Igo, 16; and Jacob Corfey, 16. Both competed in the men’s youth 8+ event for the Strokes. However, the team finished 13th out of 85 teams with a time of 15:03.16. 

The Head of the Hooch Regatta, also known as the Head of the Chattahoochee, began in 1982 in Georgia. The regatta moved to Tennessee in 1997. It is held every year on the first Saturday and Sunday of November.

The Head of the Hooch is one of the world’s largest rowing regattas, with more than 2,000 boats racing over two days. Participants come from more than 200 different organizations.