Chase Rowing Team to Name Three Racing Shells after Petit Family

Posted 05/10/2012 10:53AM


Waterbury, CT--On May 12, Chase Collegiate School’s Rowing Team will christen three racing shells in honor of Michaela Rose, Hayley Elizabeth and Jennifer Hawke-Petit. Michaela and Hayley attended Chase, and Hayley, who rowed at Miss Porter’s School, planned to row at Dartmouth. Their father, Dr. William (Bill) Petit, has gifted the boats to the School in his daughters’ and wife’s memory. Rev. Peggy Dibble Allen, a 1973 alumna of Chase and pastor will preside over the blessing at Quassapaug Lake in Middlebury.

“We are fortunate to have shared in the lives of Michaela, Hayley and Jennifer,” says Chase’s Headmaster John Fixx. “We are deeply moved to be able to honor the girls through the generosity of their father and to remember them with this celebration.”

Chase’s crew team began in 2008, racing its first regatta in 2009 and has grown in strength and ability since. Last year, the girls’ team won the Lower Boat Regatta hosted by Rumsey Hall. Three of Michaela’s classmates are currently on the team, Alicia Payne, Robert Reinhardt, and Victoria Gilbert. “Being a part of this team and the shell christening really means a lot to me,” says Gilbert. “I’m so fortunate to have known such a wonderful girl, and I still miss her every day.” Following the ceremony, Michaela’s teammates will take to the water for the first race in their newly christened boat, the Michaela Rose Petit. Dr. Petit, who will attend the boat blessing, will also be on the shoreline to see his family’s names grace the lake. Chase will race Hopkins School following the ceremony.

“Bill’s familiarity with rowing, because of Hayley’s passion for the sport, made it easy for him to understand what we are trying to accomplish,” says Lincoln Turner, head coach of the Rowing team. “Bill’s contribution has already made a tremendous difference for our program and enhanced everyone’s experience immensely. Each member of the team would tell you that the best part of Dr. Petit’s gift is that we get to remember Michaela, Hayley and Jennifer every time we row.”

The christening on May 12 at one o'clock will be a day of remembrance, celebration and gratitude.