Chinook Reclaims Titles at the 2017 Masters National Championships

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — On the fourth and final day of racing at the 2017 USRowing Masters National Championships, 54 finals were held to crown national champions.

With 99 entries, Chinook Performance Racing (San Diego, Calif.) took a commanding lead on the 2017 Overall Points Title. The athletes of Chinook finished with almost twice as many points than second place, Texas Rowing Center.

Overall, Chinook athletes earned 41 gold, 20 silver and 13 bronze medals.

“We’re a team that is setting a new business model,” said athlete and co-founder of CPR, Nancy Dynan. “We have a group of athletes that are expected year-round to train together. We get together at camps and race throughout the year. It’s a rower-run club and everyone pitches in.”

The women of the club continued on with an impressive performance. After earning 47 medals in 61 events, Chinook also earned the Women’s Points Title for its third consecutive year.

The team’s coxswain, Lesleh Wright, has been making history ever since she joined the sport. Originally from a family of rowers in St. Catharines, Ontario, Wright was the first Canadian woman to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta. She served as coxswain for Canada’s women’s eight that would not race at the 1980 Olympic Games due to a boycott, but went on to race in the 1984 Olympic Games.

Wright coxed an astonishing 20 boats to 18 medals on Melton Lake this week. With a hoarse voice, she said that her favorite part of Masters Nationals is the “complete and utter exhaustion.”

On the men’s side, Riverfront Recapture, Inc. (Hartford, Conn.) secured the club’s first-ever  Men’s Points Title over Texas Rowing Center. With medals earned in 27 out of 34 events entered, Riverfront took the title with 443 points overall.

The win was made even more meaningful for the men, as it served as a “homecoming” for the group. The team’s first Masters National Championship was in 2007, the last time the event was held in Oak Ridge. Today, Riverfront returned six men from this original group.

“The dream was born then,” said rower Mike Puckly, who was part of the squad that raced in 2007. “It came to fruition this time around. We couldn’t have had a better time.”

A new trophy was introduced to the Masters National Championship this year. The Club Points Trophy is awarded to the team who medaled in the most club events at the regatta.

Texas Rowing Center (Austin, Tx.) secured the trophy, earning 229 club points, with 10 medals in 14 club events entered.

Despite bringing only four athletes to compete, S&M Rowing (Jacksonville, Fla.) was a force to reckon with on the water at their first Masters National Championships.

The Florida crew secured the Efficiency Trophy. This title is awarded annually to the team who earns the most medals-per-competitor. Seven medals were earned by the club’s four athletes here in Oak Ridge this week. This led to an efficiency score of 19.00. Chinook Performance Racing came in second with a score of 16.52.

“Our friends gave us the idea to make a club and go for the title,” said Marley Brown, the ‘M’ of S&M Rowing. “They just kept telling us we should [form a club of our own], so we did.”

The club is comprised of Brown and his wife Stacy Legler – the ‘S’ of S&M. The two were joined by club members, Peter King and Lauren Detlefsen.

At the conclusion of racing, it was announced that Masters Nationals 2018 will be headed west! The regatta will be held August 16-19, 2018 on Lake Merritt in Oakland, Calif. Read more about the announcement here.

Get final results at As well as the final standings for the points titles.

Re-watch the broadcast of finals on USRowing’s YouTube Channel.

Photos from racing, scene and awards are available at USRowing.Photos.

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