The second leg of the annual International Dory Races kicked off this past weekend with Gloucester's elimination races, and five tandems earned a trip to Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to square off against their counterparts from Canada.
The Canadian leg of the International Dory Races will take place on Saturday, August 17 in Lunenburg and Sam and Peter Taormina (Men's), Kristen Burnham and Alexis Novello (Women's), Erik Dombrowski and Mike Harmon (Master's), Alex Pizzimenti and Jeff Muise (Mixed Doubles), and Jakob Parpart and Jack Fernandes (Juniors) will be representing Gloucester against the top local tandems from Lunenburg.
The Taormina brothers had the longest road to Canada as they had to win a pair of elimination races to earn the trip, and they did so in impressive fashion.
The Taormina's turned in the best time in Saturday's races, navigating the one-mile race course in 8:32. Chris and Vito Giacalone were second in the heat at 8:43.
Vinny Terranova and Peter Mondello won the second Men's heat on Saturday with a time of 8:54, 33 seconds ahead of Alex Rodolosi and Steve Tettoni (9:27).
The Taormina's then moved on to race Terranova and Mondello in Monday's final, and they once again won in impressive fashion, improving on their time from Saturday at 8:26. Terranova and Mondello finished at 8:48.
Dombrowski and Harmon, both multiple time International Dory Racing champs in multiple divisions, won a competitive Master's Division race, finishing the half mile course in 4:55, nine seconds ahead of Jerry Ciaramitaro and Wayne Morris.
The Mixed Doubles Division saw three teams battle for a trip to Canada, and it was Alex Pizzimenti and Muise who emerged victorious in dominant fashion, finishing with a time of 5:11, 20 seconds ahead of both Melanie Catanzaro and Vince Pizzimenti and Andria Picano and Jack Alexander.
Burnham and Novello, International champs from the June races at the Jodrey State Fish Pier in Gloucester, will be representing the Women's Division after racing unopposed. Parpart and Fernandes were also unopposed in the Junior race.
The Gloucester rowers are hoping to make it two in a row as they won three of the four races in Gloucester this past June. The Lunenburg rowers, however, have been tough to beat on their home course in recent years, winning the majority of the races last year.