Another spring weekend, another succesful Tribe regatta! The day started out well with everyone in high spirits, despite the light pitter-pattering of rain. After a coach/coxswain meeting spent listening to regatta officials explain the particulars of the Occoquan’s traffic patterns, the location of the launch and recovery docks, as well as the need for supple bowballs, Tribe Rowing quickly rigged their boats and got down to the business of racing.
The novice women entered an eight and four, kicking serious butt in both races. In the four’s race, W&M put in a blistering first 1500 meters, opening up water on three crews behind them and pulling a few seats ahead of VTech until the last few hundred meters, when VTech nudged our ladies for third in their sprint. In the eight’s race, W&M laid down a really wicked race, placing second in the Grand Final, only getting edged out by Mary Washington – a varsity rowing program. Well done both boats! Although W&M will be losing some serious horsepower from their graduating seniors, the novice women look to bring some serious horespower of their own next year!
The novice men entered an eight and were looking to really shake things up in their race, having most of their squad available to race for the first time this spring. However, despite really kicking up the intensity at practice these past few weeks, and finally prepared to kick some serious tail, a spectacular finish to their season in eights was not be. In what varsity Coach Walker described as the most egregious example of referee error he has ever been witness to in his rowing and coaching career, the novice men lost a rower in the third stroke of their race due to an oar collar ripping off the oar, and though novice coxswain Emily Stephens made the difficult but completely correct call of stopping her boat and calling an official over to stop and restart the race (so the equipment could be fixed and the race restarted, as the rules state), and though W&M was well within the first 50 meters of the 100 meter breakage zone, and though one of the two officials agreed with W&M about stopping the race (as is the rule), the other official ignored the obvious and forced the race onwards. After having stopped for twenty seconds while their competitors rowed on, W&M’s novice men picked it up and raced with seven the rest of the way. Though the novice men were extremely dissapointed with their race, they certainly proved their mettle by keeping their chins held high for the rest of the regatta, representing W&M Rowing Very Well.
The varsity men entered a lightweight eight and heavyweight four. In the four’s race, despite one rower switching (and doing very well at it) from port to starboard side a week earlier, they still placed and rowed very well, earning a third place finish in the petite final. In the lightweight eight’s race, the men nailed their start (47spm) and their settle well, and despite a hard, hard week of setting up their taper for Dad Vails, and despite rowing four beats below their competition for the body of the race, the lightweight eight opened up 17 seconds on Loyola’s JV, but were edged out in the end by 7 seconds by a very fast Penn State Ltwt crew. The lightweight men are very excited for Dad Vails, and are looking forward to be in the hunt for W&M’s first varsity eight medal at the regatta.
The varsity women entered two fours, one in the Club/D2/D3 event, and another in the open Varsity Div 1 event. In the Club/D2/D3 event, the Tribe ladies represented the team very, very, very well, earning a third place medal. In the Varsity Div 1 event, the ladies again went against Loyola College, a crew that had edged them out for first place a few weeks earlier. However, the ladies hardwork over these past few weeks paid off, as they rowed a great race, hitting a 48spm on their start and a 40spm on their sprint, to win the event and beat runner-up Loyola (a varsity school supported team) by over 6 seconds. This same boat is also hitting their taper very well, and is aiming to be the first William and Mary Rowing varsity gold medalists at the Dad Vail Regatta! Nice work both boats!
Congratulations goes out to all boats, as everyone represented William and Mary Rowing very, very well. Onwards and upwards to Dad Vails next weekend!