360-Degree View: Riverfront Rowing Welcomes Anyone to Join the Crew

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Just a mile away from the downtown Hartford and a perfect view of traffic jams on 84 and 91, Riverfront Rowing has its own definition for “rush hour.”

“We all have day jobs,” said Thomas Bennett, a member of Riverfront Rowing. “We want to come here and like, put in as much work as we can before we have to leave."

From those who have never rowed before to former members of the U.S. National Team, they welcome anyone who wants to compete.

“We want to go fast,” Bennett said. “That’s just a part of it.”

But among the decorated athletes in the water, there’s one with more experience than all of them: 80-year-old Everett Seyler.

"I went to Cornell as a freshman and somebody said, ‘I'm going to go out for lightweight crew,’ and ‘I said, well, I'll come along,'" Seyler said of the spur of the moment decision in 1956.

He hasn’t kept at it continuously, but said he’s been rowing in Hartford since 1983. Continuing on with a career in the water that’s lasted longer than most of his teammates have been alive. He rows a double with someone who is 26.

Everett is fresh off another trip to the U.S. Rowing Masters National championship where he was one of five in his age category of 80-84.

“Most of the time, it's not about that,” Seyer said of his age. “It's about being with these guys and working together and making this thing work and I mean it's just a lot of fun.”

Not to mention, a lot of inspiration for everyone around him.

”Isn't it a wonderful thing that this person can row at this age,” said Riverfront Rowing men’s team captain, Mike Puckly, “I want to be like that.”

It’s a common sentiment among the younger rowers.

"We all want to be like Ev," said Beckett.

You can learn more about Riverfront Rowing by clicking here.

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