By this time of the year, most islanders look forward to spending their weekends curled up under a blanket with a hot drink. But a group of Vinalhaven rowers threw aside the afghans for oars in preparation for the Snow Row, an annual race held in Hull, Mass., by the Hull Lifesaving Museum. In what turned out to be a beautiful March day, three Vinalhaven boats did their island proud over the three-and-a-half-mile course.

Vinalhaven Rowing Club entered three boats in the Snow Row: two pilot gigs and one two-man peapod. Team SIREN, an all-women gig, came in second in the Adult Amateur category while Team VIXEN, a mixed-gender boat bearing four adults and three students, also did well. Also racing were Bill Alcorn and Del Webster (with canine accompaniment) in the peapod OBIE.

The Snow Row uses a triangular course with a LeMans start. Rowers start on land, with their bows on the beach. They must race to the boats, then turn the boats around before beginning the race. Team Vixen had a minor collision at the beginning, but managed to take charge and battle to the best time of all amateur gigs. (Because the VIXEN had both adults and youths, it was placed in its own category.) This was the 23rd Snow Row that the Hull Lifesaving Museum has held, and it attracts boats from as far away as Cornwall, England, and a wide variety of boats, from the six-person gigs to single kayaks.

The Vinalhaven Rowing Club is a community group dedicated to providing rowing opportunities to the entire island population. The two gigs, the VIXEN and SIREN, were built by the community – the VIXEN by a high school Voc Ed class, and the SIREN by the same class with help from an Adult Education class. This is the third year that the Rowing Club has participated in the Snow Row. Their next race will be the Duxbury Bay Row, a five-mile race held in Duxbury, Mass., on May 17.

Also racing in the Snow Row was a student team from North Haven, running in the gig RECOVERY. They placed second in the Youth Pilot Gig Pro category.

For full race results and photos, visit the Hull Lifesaving Museum’s web site at’.