On a windy day this past Saturday, Andover Boys Crew raced down Kent’s winding home course alongside Kent’s strong oarsmen. Unfortunately, Kent’s blistering speed and steady stamina were too much for Andover to handle. Kent’s win was secured by a mere 2.2 seconds, as its B1 boat cruised in at a time of 4:46.2 while Andover’s finished just behind at 4:48.4.
Andover’s B1 crew consisted of Tyler Lian ’16, Will Humphrey ’16, Luke Bitler ’17, Alex Cao ’16, Co-Captain Nick Faulkner ’16, Tora Liu ’16, Dylan Norris ’16, Co-Captain Gabe Blanchard ’16, and coxswain Christina Schoeller ’16. For many of the rowers, it was their first race on B1, as Norris and Faulkner were the boat’s only returning members.
The beginning on the race proved to be pivotal in determining the outcome, as Kent surged ahead, rowing at 36 strokes per minute in the first few meters. Andover began the race rowing with a stroke rate of 34 strokes per minute, substantially slower than that of Kent, leaving them with a large gap to close.
Andover, however, didn’t show any sense of feebleness, as it continued to use all its strength to try and pass Kent.
Kent’s stroke rate began to progressively pick up towards the end of the race, as it sprinted at a rate of 40 strokes per minute in the race’s final stretch, which was higher than Andover’s 38 strokes per minute.
Nate Smith ’18, a member of B2, said, “In the very beginning of the race, Kent took an early lead, and we held them to within sight for a few hundred meters. However, in the second half of the race, they really started to pull ahead.”
The B2 boat had a much greater deficit than B1, as it lost to Kent’s B2 boat by 10 seconds.
More experience in the sport will definitely pay off for these young or new rowers, as Andover will hope to gain valuable experience for future races.
Co-Captain Gabe Blanchard ’16 said, “This was our first race of the season, and I’m pleased with how he raced, regardless of the outcome. We [also] have some real talent coming up in the lower boats right now, and I’m excited to see them develop.”
Andover will strive to improve this week, as it will take on both Northfield Mount Hermon and Salisbury next weekend in hopes of putting a notch in its win column.