The 2018 Row for Autism kicked off on April 15 but was short lived due to high winds. Despite adjusting the course, the race officials canceled the event after the first two events were completed due to the windy conditions. The determined rowers in the Freshmen 8 boats battled Mother Nature with Manhasset Men’s 8 taking the gold and Port Rowing finishing with a silver medal. The Women’s Freshman 8 was won by Port Rowing and St John’s the Baptist took the silver medal.
“Rowers don’t give up very easily. But sometimes, the forces of nature are more than mere humans can overcome,” said Michiel Bartman, Port Rowing Director of Rowing, head men’s coach and regatta director.
Friends of Port Rowing hosts the annual event in April each year to spotlight their own Adaptive Rowing program and to showcase the abilities of those with special needs. The Port Rowing Adaptive Program pairs typical varsity rowers with teens on the autism spectrum and those with other special needs to learn the sport of rowing, improve overall fitness, and to promote team work and social skills.
Row for Autism 2018 was made possible with the support of the Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Bosworth and Councilwoman Di Giorgio. Sponsors and presenters include OrangeTheory, Bach to Rock, Luv Michael Granola, Home Run Electric, The Rooney Family, Progressive Urology, and Hempstead Harbor Protection Committee.
—Submitted by Port Rowing