In its second race of the season, Andover Girls Crew’s G1 boat crossed the finish line a full 20 seconds ahead of Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) to secure the team’s first win. All three of Andover’s varsity boats beat NMH this past Saturday.
After falling to Kent last week, Andover focused on coming into its second race more relaxed and loose. It also aimed to have longer, more powerful strokes throughout the race. This tactic proved successful: G2 finished 14 seconds ahead of NMH, and G3 finished with a lead of 21 seconds.
Co-Captain Fiona Yonkman ’16 said, “Last week, our rating was a little too high, but we practiced racing with longer and more technically sound stokes all week, so we settled to a solid 32 [strokes per minute] on Saturday. We showed off the strength and technique of the girls in the boat by going long and low.”
Andover’s start off the line continued to be strong and allowed for an early lead in the race.
Sam Hawley ’16 said, “We came off the start fast, taking a length lead, but we kept pushing the gap for more open water and broke them at about the 800-meter mark where we walked up two more lengths.”
“Our start again felt very solid but I think what was really different this week was our shift down to our race rate. It felt powerful and connected and allowed us to consistently increase our lead over NMH,” said Co-Captain Vienna Kuhn ’16.
Although Andover maintained a lead over NMH for the entire race and did not necessarily need to push itself through the finish line, the team competed its hardest until the end of the competition.
Coxswain for G1, Janet Conklin ’17 said, “What was most special about the race, though, is that many times, when we take open water and the girls can see the losing crew behind them, they become complacent and only work hard enough to stay ahead. However, we continued to walk away from NMH until the very end of the race.”
Yonkman said, “The first 500 [meters] we were sitting on their bow ball, but we were able to open it up throughout the rest of the race, ending with a few lengths of open water.”
Preparing for future races, Andover looks to continue to improve its technique as well as its overall strength.
Hawley said, “Going into next weekend we need to be conscious of our acceleration of the blade through the water and making sure we are all swinging and hitting the leg drive at the same time.”
“This week is all about getting stronger to prepare for Hingham,” added Kuhn.
Still early into the season, Andover hopes to continuing improving with every race and bonding as a team.
Head Coach Dale Hurley said, “We have a really young team this season. We only have three girls coming back from the first boat, including the coxswain, so they are just going to get faster as the season progresses.”
Hawley said, “Every crew is different and every crew needs time to gel and get used to each other, so we are looking at another solid week of practice.”
Andover looks to use the momentum from its win against NMH to propel it to another victory against Hingham and Boston Latin this coming Saturday.