Row For Autism Battles Against Mother Nature

Right: Port Rowing Women’s Freshmen 8 are all smiles after a gold medal win at Row for Autism. Back Row: Sadie Brett-Chin, Coxswain, Michele Lanfant, Shayne Bersin, Sarah Fieldman, Brooke Bosse, Laura Maroney, and Samantha Gibbons. Seated in Front Row: Zoe Cotronis and Riley Fanning-Hughes.

The 2018 Row for Autism kicked off on Sunday, April 15, but was short lived due to high winds. Despite adjusting the course, race officials canceled the event after the first two events were complete.

The determined rowers in the Freshmen 8 person boats battled Mother Nature with Manhasset Men’s 8 taking the gold and Port Rowing finishing with a silver
medal. The Women’s Freshmen 8 was won by Port Rowing and St. John’s the Baptist took the silver medal.

“Rowers don’t give up very easily,” said Michiel Bartman, Port Rowing Director of Rowing, head men’s coach and regatta director. “But sometimes, the forces of nature are more than mere humans can overcome.”

Above: The Port Rowing Freshmen 8 boat battled against winds at Row for Autism 2018, with Manhasset Crew taking home a silver medal. Pictured after the race are Trey McDermott, coxswain Brian Lippin, Arturo Campos, Nathan Hauspiegel, Ryan Crilley, Ryan Milcetic, Eric Tang, Alex Blaslov, Coach Bartman and Jack Sullivan.

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.

For more information about Port Rowing and their future events, visit

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