Men's rowers deal with poor conditions

by Kate Mulley | 10/20/04 5:00am

The Dartmouth men's crew, with boats from both the heavyweight and lightweight squads, traveled to the New Hampshire Championships in Pembroke, N.H. Saturday and returned with some hardware and the overall team trophy for the regatta.

The regatta, which Dartmouth attended for the first time this year, proved to be a logistical nightmare. The afternoon events were delayed by more than an hour so that high school competitors could flex their intellectual muscle at the SATs before racing. And at the end of the day, a broken down bus kept the team on the side of I-89 for an hour, waiting for replacement transportation.

The lightweight squad sent two eights to Pembroke to compete in the open eight event, which was rife with crews from heavyweight Division III teams, rowing clubs and high school programs. The heavyweights had an entry in the open eight and the open four event.

The lightweight varsity eight picked up silver medals in their event three seconds behind the winning Holy Cross crew. The heavyweight eight placed tenth in the event, and the second varsity lightweight eight placed 15th.

The heavyweight eight, whose lineup of primarily second varsity rowers was set the day before the race, had difficulty establishing a sense of rhythm together as a boat.

Jeremy Feldman '07 said, "The race did not feel very good, we had trouble getting the rating above a 30, even though most of the race was in a tailwind, and we didn't have a good sense of where we were on the course."

The heavyweight four rowed to a fourth place finish in their race, behind crews from UNH, Bowdoin College and Bates College.

The course featured a long, slow turn on starboard side and a cross-headwind, while choppy water greeted the crews in the final mile of the race. While all the crews tried to hold themselves in the difficult conditions, many of the Dartmouth rowers noted that because the water is so calm on the home course, it was harder for them to prepare themselves for Saturday's conditions. The rowers also looked to future races as a better indication of what their potential holds.

Esteemed stroke of the second lightweight eight Marco Adelfio '05 acknowledged the poor conditions during the race as a hindrance to speed but asserted that "all of our boats will need to turn in better performances if we're going to succeed against stronger competition."

Each team will send an eight to the illustrious Head of the Charles this weekend in Cambridge, Mass. The lightweights will be racing in the lightweight eight race, and the heavyweights will race in the Championship eight race, both taking place Sunday.

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