FOLLOW-UP ON THE NEWS
Keeping the Wainwright/Row America Effort Afloat
In our recent coverage of the Milton Harbor Foundation petition to operate RowAmerica Rye out of Wainwright House, we didn’t have the opportunity to speak with Howard Winklevoss, who founded and has funded the program currently operating at a facility in a residential neighborhood on Milton Road near the Boat Basin.
As was reported, RowAmerica, the best junior rowing program in the country, has outgrown its space, and the Wainwright House board welcomes hosting a rowing club, especially as Mr. Winklevoss has offered to pay to construct a new building to replace Fonrose Cottage, which is in poor repair.
In a phone conversation, Mr. Winklevoss expressed his disappointment with how the proposal was politicized by the Friends of Milton Point. “They painted it as a commercial venture, which it is not. It’s philanthropic. Most clubs are 501(c)(3)s.”
As far as countering claims that RowAmerica would bring unwanted noise to a quiet neighborhood, he replied, “Rowers are a pretty well-behaved group of athletes. They come to row.”
He noted that the proposed facility would be 100 feet away from the neighbors and soundproof. “It bears no resemblance to the towering, alarming buildings on the Friends of Milton Point website.”
As far as RowAmerica, Winklevoss says his options are:
Buy the property at 668 Milton Road, tear it down, and rebuild it, which is unlikely because the owner has set a “sky-high” price.
Have the opportunity to meet with City officials and the Planning Commission so that they can more closely examine the plan at Wainwright as it is, “not as it is purported to be by opponents.”
Move the program out of Rye and to a facility on the Mianus River.
“We can’t remain in the current facility; we are maxed out.”
- Robin Jovanovich