Hun School Crew Program Receives State-of-the-Art Shell and Technology System
The Hun School of Princeton crew program received a tremendous gift over Alumni Weekend 2017—a brand new, state-of-the-art shell, christened the Dr. Paul R. Chesebro, and a high-tech system that will allow Hun crews to assess their performance as they row.
The shell, a Vespoli, 8-person boat made of carbon fiber, the fastest racing material there is, was christened and launched over the weekend. (The Hun novice girls-8 team defeated the Peddie School in the new boat on April 29.) Accompanying the gift of the shell were twelve new carbon oars and a high-tech measurement system called Empower Oarlock.
The new equipment was the generous gift of Yung Wong ’57. Mr. Wong, who was a cox on Hun’s crew team when he attended the School from 1955 to 1957, was Hun’s first international boarding student. (He came here from Hong Kong.) Mr. Wong and Dorothy Sayre, daughter of long-time, former Hun Headmaster Paul R. Chesebro, were on campus on April 29 to christen the boat.
“This shell is a token of my gratitude to Dr. Chesebro for changing my life’s journey and impacting so many who were fortunate enough to be under his tutelage,” said an emotional Mr. Wong before he and Mrs. Sayre poured champagne over the bow of the shell.
"Dr. Chesebro looked after me with special care, checking in on me frequently. He even got me a date to the prom!” he recalled to much laughter. “I firmly believe his personal relationships and advocacy were what led to my acceptance at my first-choice college down the road," said Mr. Wong, referring to Princeton University, where he earned a degree in physics. Mr. Wong went on to earn a MBA and a Ph.D., and enjoyed a career as a computer technologist and venture capitalist.
The Empower Oarlock system that Mr. Wong gifted to the program is a set of devices that are attached to each rower’s oar lock. The devices record the angle at which an oar enters the water, as well as several measurements of the force that is being exerted. The information is transmitted to devices in front of the rower and/or their coach, and can be used in multiple ways to improve a rower’s performance, or to make an entire crew’s performance more uniform, a key to a successful race.
“The system empowers the rowers to coach themselves and make adjustments with actual data while they are rowing,” said girls’ varsity crew coach Ken Weinstein, who began using the system with his rowers immediately. “This is where Olympic teams have been for years. As soon as I gave them the information, they took it and ran with it.
“The system is phenomenal and we can’t thank Mr. Wong enough for putting it in our hands,” said Mr. Weinstein.
Mr. Wong and his wife also have established the Wong Family Scholarship Fund at The Hun School, and are generous contributors to the Chesebro Scholarship Fund.
The Hun School of Princeton is an independent, coeducational, private day and boarding college preparatory school. Student-centered, hands-on learning prepares students for the global community in which they will live and work.