WesCrew Rides Rough Waves at Coast Guard
The Wesleyan men’s and women’s crew teams were primed to open their spring seasons at home on the Connecticut River, but the wild winds and perilous conditions on the water had other plans. The Cardinal rowers were forced to ship over to New London to face off in sprints against the US Coast Guard Academy. The weather proved uncooperative once more, canceling half of the scheduled sprints and forcing the boats that did take the water to row to just get by rather than as a display of skill, said men’s coach Phil Carney. While the men were able to rise above Mother Nature and the host men’s varsity boat, the choppy waters proved to be too much for the women as they fell to the Coast Guard women’s team.
The men’s first varsity boat built on its spring training success with a hard-fought victory in the 2000-meter sprint on the Thames River. The Cardinal men prevailed over Coast Guard in the poor conditions, beating out the host boat 5:52.5 to 5:55.
“Our plan was to work pretty hard down in Florida because we knew we’d be coming back to some sketchy weather up here,” Carney said. “So we worked the guys harder than we normally do, and they responded to it really well. I thought our guys were really gritty and rowed really hard against Coast Guard, and they got a win because they just didn’t back down.”
The Wesleyan men’s second varsity boat also won its sprint, grappling with the weather to a one second margin of victory. Although the lineup of the first boat remained consistent between the two spring sprints, the success of the second boat shows promising depth for the Wesleyan men going forward.
The women’s first varsity boat had much more trouble dealing with the rough waters of the Thames, staying close to Coast Guard early before falling behind to finish with a time of 6:39.2, 11 seconds behind the competition. And while the second varsity boat won by nine seconds in a weather-shortened race, coach Pat Tynan and the women’s squad left New London scratching their heads.
“I thought the team came together really well in Florida,” Tynan said of his group’s spring training, “But it just really didn’t translate to last weekend. The conditions were pretty horrible, and I feel like for the varsity group in particular, the conditions got the better of them.”
Both the men’s and women’s teams will travel to Worcester, Mass., on April 2 for their next sprint. Regardless of whether they excelled in New London or fell short of expectations, Wesleyan crew is optimistic for smoother seas ahead.