Wrecking crew: Men's rowers impress at regattas

by Kate Mulley | 10/13/04 5:00am

Here is a look at Dartmouth crew in action over Columbus Day weekend:

Heavyweights take silver in controversy

The Dartmouth varsity heavyweight eight was edged out by defending national champion Harvard at the Stonehurst Capital Regatta in Rochester, N.Y. on Sunday. Dartmouth raced in a three-mile head piece in the morning and a 1500 meter piece in the afternoon. In the morning, Dartmouth made up more ground on the crews ahead of them during the beginning of the race, forcing them to take a wide turn as they came up on Hobart College's crew. Harvard narrowly defeated Dartmouth by 2.3 seconds with a time of 16:28.2.

The afternoon race paired Dartmouth with Harvard in a highly-contested tie that cost Dartmouth the gold medal on the day. The Dartmouth eight, rowing in the outside lane for a sizable turn in the course, were holding off Harvard for the first half of the piece. Around the 800-meter mark, a motor boat passed the Dartmouth crew, leaving a wake that sent water splashing over the gunwales of the boat. Harvard, not as directly affected by the motor boat's wake, was able to make up eight seats on Dartmouth as they pushed through the choppy water. Dartmouth pulled back up in the end of the race to finish with a dead heat. Despite protests by the Dartmouth crew, the race officials did not allow the two teams to rerace on an even course.

Captain and varsity stroke Pete Noteboom '05 noted the team's bittersweet performance, "We had a solid performance in the morning and in the afternoon we had an aggressive race. We got silver medals and some added fuel for the Head of the Charles."

For the final team trophy the time from the afternoon race was multiplied by three and added to the morning racing time for a final combined time. In the final combined times, Harvard won with 29:32.51 with Dartmouth taking the silver medal with 29:35.03. Dartmouth looks to take home the gold at the New Hampshire Championships on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Aggressive lightweights finish well at Head of Connecticut

The Dartmouth lightweight crew sent three boats down to the Head of the Connecticut Regatta in Middletown, Conn., on Sunday, finishing strongly in all three races. The regatta boasted a new lightweight-unfriendly course this year. In previous years, the three-mile course went downstream, but the new course favored heavier crews, forcing crews to push against both current and a head wind.

The Dartmouth lightweight four took second place to Penn Athletic Club by 7.3 seconds with a time of 21:36.4. The third-place four in the race was two-and-a-half minutes behind Dartmouth.

Rowing out of their weight class in the heavyweight eights race, the Dartmouth lights finished third, two and a half seconds out of first place, behind hometown teams Wesleyan and Coast Guard. The varsity eight hit two buoys during the race, which may have affected the outcome of the race.

The Big Green finished eighth out of 27 crews in the heavyweight four race.

Captain Luke Gilroy '05 appeared optimistic about the implications of Sunday's outcomes.

"Overall it was a good showing for our first head race. Still a lot of work to do, but the aggressiveness with which we fought heavyweight and pre-elite crews in tough conditions is promising," Gilroy, four seat of the varsity eight, said.

"The first eight rowed an aggressive race but unfortunately fell short, encountering a few technical difficulties during the race. In the lightweight four, battling fatigue from the morning and a brutal head wind for the whole of the race, we raced another aggressive piece. Unfortunately, we were surpassed by a much heavier and fresher Penn AC boat." Jon Kroft '07, two seat in both the varsity eight and the lightweight four, explained.

The lights join the heavyweights and the women's team on Saturday at the New Hampshire Championships, the first time Dartmouth has attended the regatta.