Bad weather on Saturday, March 28, cancelled men’s and women’s crew races against U.S. Coast Guard Academy, so the Cardinals rescheduled the start of their 2015 spring season for Tuesday, March 31.
Despite rowing against the current and into a headwind, both crews were able to dispatch the Bears with relative ease. The men won the 2K by a 15 second margin with a time of 6:32, while the women set a time of 7:10, beating the Bears by 19.3 seconds.
“We went into the first race expecting Coast Guard to be fast,” said men’s captain Ethan Currie ’15. “We never want to sleep on a crew, especially early in the season when you don’t know how fast anyone is.”
With the win, the men have now gone a decade without losing to the Bears, while the women have beaten them each of the last three seasons.
“Like the past several years against them, after the first 500 meters we were all fairly confident we could win, and we laid down a solid piece against a good crew,” Currie said.
In addition to the weather conditions, the men had to deal with a late scratch of one of the 1V’s taller rowers, Colin Mattox ’17, who was dealing with a sudden back injury.
“We had to race a different lineup with no practice, but Darshdeep Hora [’15] did a great job stepping up and filling in for his first varsity race,” Currie said. “I couldn’t be happier with our margin of victory and the way we handled the racing.”
Although both teams were pleased with the outcome and excited to secure the season opening victory, there is room to improve their speed.
“Coast Guard was fast off the start, but we were steady and pushed them back,” said Remy Johnson ’16. “It was a good race for it being so early in the season and given the conditions, and I’m excited to see how we can get faster as the season progresses.”
Currie was especially pleased with their speed in the middle of the race.
“I was really happy with the base speed we showed through the middle thousand meters, which is really indicative of a boat with end-of-season speed,” Currie said.
Men’s 1V cox, Max Dietz ’16, was also pleased with the speed of the boat throughout the third 500m of the race, but he emphasized that there is more work to be done.
“I think we’re going to have to work our sprints a little bit,” Dietz stated. “We were a little lower on stroke rate than I would have liked, but it’s tough to say until we have another crew side by side coming into the sprint.”
This Saturday, April 4th, both crews will be racing on Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Mass., where the men will take on Colby, Middlebury, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), and UMass Amherst, while the women will race the same consortia of teams with the except of UMass, who will be replaced by Smith as the five team in the regatta.
“I think racing WPI [and the other crews] this weekend will tell us a lot more about where we’ll need to work this spring,” Dietz said.
“The teams we race this weekend are always solid, and we always have to prepare for that,” said women’s captain Gillian Mahoney ’15. “We can’t rely on our past successes but have to come into this race ready to fight hard (but we are a team that has plenty of fight) and maintain an internal focus.”
Saturday will be the first time the 2V and 3V boats of both squads see action this spring.
“This weekend will be exciting,” said women’s captain Emily Garvin ’15. “This will be the first time that we get all the boats out on the water to race. I think that the entire team is excited and ready to get out onto the race course this weekend to put all that training we’ve been doing to good use.”
“We just go out there on race day and lay down the fastest 2000 meter piece we can,” Currie said. “The more we focus on our own boat and less on our competitors, the better we will do. We approach each race expecting a dogfight yet reminding ourselves that we have done the training to take on anyone in New England.”