Camper Profiles

Chris Hillier


Er...well...hello! My name is Chris Hillier and I am going to be an intern at Craftsbury Sculling Center from July 3rd thru the 17th. I was an intern at Craftsbury before, during the summer of 2003.

I was born in Manchester, England on July 29th 1986. At the age of 8 I was kidnapped by Romanian Gypsies while on holiday in Bora Bora. Shortly after being kidnapped, they airlifted me out of Bora Bora on a hot-air balloon. Sadly, the hot-air balloon crash-landed before we could reach Romania. As luck would have it, we crashed in the mountains of Bulgaria. The gypsies deserted me after we crashed, leaving me on my own to the brutal cold and brutal women of Bulgaria. Luckily, I was rescued by Pepa Miloucheva (CSC fleet manager), who was out and about training for the 1994 World Ski-Orienteering Championships. This incident explains the loving relationship that Pepa and I have, as well as her fondness to calling me "Chrissy" which is the name she used to call me when she sang me lullabies on those balmy winter nights in Bulgaria. As of now I am currently living in Indianapolis, Indiana with my actual family. I hold Canadian citizenship; enduring criticism in hope that one day I might actually visit Cuba. I am both an avid rower and cyclist, and keep doing both in hopes of actually succeeding at one of them. When September rolls around I will be attending the University of Victoria in British Columbia; where I will be studying Computer Science and Visual Arts. Anyways, back to the actual purpose of this feature.

I have been rowing since 4th grade, meaning that as of now I am in my 8th year of rowing. For the first four years that I rowed, I primarily sculled. However, in my 8th grade year I was recruited to be the varsity coxswain for the junior menís team at Indianapolis Rowing Center. This was primarily due to my size, which made it all the more unfortunate that by the end of the year I was actually taller than some of the guys rowing in the varsity 8+. As might be expected, I soon started rowing with the varsity men while a coxswain from the novice team was recruited to take my old position. I stroked the varsity 8+ for all of freshman year and the first week of sophomore year before I decided that enough was enough. I no longer felt like doing sweep, I wanted to scull. I soon began sculling my single, where I performed incredibly poorly but had a lot of fun. I did this for all of sophomore year and the first semester of junior year. First semester of junior year was actually somewhat good; I placed half-decently at the Head of the Schuylkill and various other local races. I still bombed at my first showing at the Head of the Charles though, which was a complete and utter disappointment. However, in between my sophomore and junior years was a wonderful summer of being an intern at Craftsbury. Seeing as I had been rowing constantly for the past year and a half, and had literally been on the water every single day for that time period, I decided I wanted to try something else.

Enter cycling. After cycling for the second semester of my junior year and for the entire summer, I was ready to do sweep again during senior year. The first semester of senior year went by quickly, especially since we had a good season in the varsity 8+, although we could have done a lot better at the Head of the Schuylkill. Presently, second semester of senior year, I am planning on cycling again for this spring season. Some might attribute this to a lack of athletic drive, but I attribute lack of desire to row to my knowing that I am going to be rowing in college as well as for the entire summer. Seeing as this bring us up to the present, I feel I am entitled to discuss my other athletic endeavor, cycling, as well as my relationship with Craftsbury Sculling Center.

I have only been racing bikes for the past year, but it has already brought me far more success than rowing has in the 8 years I have been doing it. I currently race for a local shop here in Indianapolis, called The Bike Wave, and am sponsored by the company Crank Brothers, who supply me with pedals, clothing, and various other bike parts. This past year I was invited to a Junior National Team Camp in northern Arkansas, where I was promptly pounded into the ground. Despite this, I am trying to get invited to another camp this year, so that I might try my luck again. After racing this past year, 2004, in Indiana, I was named the NORBA State Champion for my class. As impressive as this might sound, it means absolutely nothing seeing as there was really only one other person in my class. But, I still have that State Champion medal to remind me. I am planning on racing in the Jay Challenge race this year, which is in Vermont at the end of July. If I do well I will be qualified for the World Solo Championships, where I will have to race my mountain bike for 24 hours straight. As crazy as it sounds, I am looking forward to it.

I have been to Craftsbury Sculling Center a total of four times as a guest, and once as an intern. I first came to the Center with my family and the woman who taught me how to scull, Carrie Stout. After that initial visit, I came three more times: once with my family, once with just my father for a weekend, and one last time by myself for a week. Overall, I had an amazing time at all of my visits. This prompted me to accept the invitation Marlene had extended to me regarding my internship for the summer of 2003. As is obvious, this brings me somewhat up to date regarding my life, my rowing and cycling, and my history at the Center. I hope you have enjoyed reading this.