WesCrew continued its stellar season with solid times across the board in a regatta against Bates, Tufts, University of New Hampshire, and Wellesley. Unlike last week’s competition, this race in Maiden, Mass. featured sunny weather and very minimal wind, especially in the morning. This week featured a dual course, in which two boats would race at the same time in a tournament-style competition to determine the winner. The losers of the initial races would also face off to determine a third place finisher. The men’s varsity eight came up short in the first round against a very good Bates team but was able to crush Tufts in the consolation match by posting times of 6:09 and 6:17 respectively. The women’s varsity eight defeated Tufts in the first round, but was unable to surpass Bates and posted times of 6:58 and 7:04.
Spring crew courses are usually relatively straight, but this course contained many turns so that a boat in one of the lanes had a shorter path. As a result, the boat with shorter path was handicapped one-third of a boat-length to start the race. For the men’s varsity eight, this proved to be disadvantageous against Bates. Because they started the race behind Bates and were never able to see Bates’ boat, the Wes team found it more difficult to rise to the occasion with the lack of a race environment. Against Tufts, the men’s team was given the head start and took full advantage by cruising out to an early lead and never looking back.
Although both the men and women’s varsity eights came up short against a very good Bates team, both teams came away with reason to smile. On the women’s side, their times signified that they were able to compete with some of the best teams in the country.
“It was tough racing, but we were happy with our results overall,” said Erin Kelly ’12. “We’re glad to be competitive with teams we haven’t been competitive with in the past.” Wesleyan’s post times were comparable to those of the Wellesley squad that qualified for the NCAAs last year. The women’s team is currently ranked eighth and in prime position to make the NCAAs.
The men’s team was enthusiastic about the stellar performance of the third varsity eight, currently undefeated on the season. The third varsity boat beat both Tufts and UNH by comfortable margins, and is having a historical season in its own right. However, the varsity eight was not as satisfied with its own performance, as the boat wants to be more competitive with the powerhouses of the NESCAC.
“By the end of the season we want to be competitive with these [top NESCAC] boats,” said Grant Nikols ’13, coxswain for the men’s first varsity boat. “But we have a lot of work to do.”
The men and women’s teams hit the water next in a race against Little Three rival Williams College on Saturday, April 21.