PHOTO AND STORY COURTESY USROWING
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The U.S. PR3 mixed double sculls and PR3 four with coxswain crews were victorious on Saturday at the 2023 Para Rowing Regatta to Paris, easily winning their races on the Paralympic course in Vaires-sur-Marne, France.
In the PR3 mixed double sculls, national team rookie Gemma Wollenschlaeger (St. Augustine Beach, Fla./Temple University) and two-time national team member Todd Vogt (Rochester, N.Y. /Portland Boat Club) won their race by nearly 40 seconds over Italy in a 7:25.90. Wollenschlaeger just finished her sophomore season at Temple University and is one of three U.S. rowers making their international debuts this weekend. Vogt raced the PR3 mixed double at last year’s world championships, finishing fifth in Racice, Czech Republic.
The PR3 mixed four with coxswain of Ben Washburne (Madison, Conn./Williams College), Saige Harper (Easthampton, Mass./Sacred Heart University), Skylar Dahl (Minneapolis, Minn./University of Virginia), Alex Flynn (Wilmington, Mass./Tufts University), and coxswain Emilie Eldracher (Andover, Mass./Massachusetts Institute of Technology) won their race by more than 23 seconds over France, clocking a 7:04.67. The U.S. built nearly a 14-second lead in the first 1,000 meters and continued to pull away over the back half of the race. France finished second, with Italy in third. Harper, Flynn, and Eldracher were part of the PR3 mixed four that finished fifth at last year’s world championships, while Washburne and Dahl are making their Team USA debuts.
Racing continues on Sunday. The Para Rowing Regatta to Paris is providing the crews their first opportunity to race together ahead of the 2023 World Rowing Championships scheduled for September 3-10 in Belgrade, Serbia. This year’s world championship is the first opportunity for countries to qualify boats for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.