The Chicago Rowing Union (CRU) wrapped up its 2012 sprint season with a sensational showing north of the border.
The predominantly gay rowing club participated in the 2012 International Regatta Aug. 26 at the Olympic Basin in Montréal, Quebec, home of the 1976 Olympic rowing venue. This was CRU's first-ever international regatta during the regular season, and the crew returned home with three medals: two gold and one bronze.
"This was a perfect way to close out the 2012 sprint season," said Craig Wu. "We performed very well."
CRU sent nine to the Canadian Masters Championships, with each race spanning 1,000 meters. CRU entered three events: Men's Masters 4A+ & Masters 4B+ and Men's Masters 8+. CRU won gold in the Men's Masters 4A+ and Men's Masters 8+ and had a third-place finish in the Men's Masters 4B+.
"The winning 4A and 8+ boats took the early lead in both races and never let up on the competition," Wu said. "The course was fast and with a slight tail wind in the bright sunny day. Racing at the old Olympic venue was exciting, [especially since] the London Olympics had just ended, leaving a wave of excitement over the U.S. women's 8 gold medal victory."
Ashley Salbeck added, "It was a great international experience for CRU. I am glad to have been a part of it."
The CRU boat for the 4A race was Bill Moudry, Philip Hedrei, Zach Morrison, Wu and coxswain Anthony Chacon. The CRU 4B boat was Justin DiGiamberdine, Bill Atwell, Randy Mitchell, Paulo Son, and Salbeck. The 8+ boat was all eight rowers, with Salbeck as the coxswain.
"Hopefully our club's presence on the international stage will inspire others in Chicago to come learn about rowing with our team," Wu said. "We offer Learn to Row classes twice a year and have been very successful with retention and integration with our novice team."
CRU president Bill Moudry added, "This regatta was a great cap to our sprint season. We came away with two gold medals and a bronze, but more importantly, we showed great teamwork and represented CRU proudly."