Lady Blue Crew Suffer Opening Race Loss To Rival Kent Lions

Who knew Lions could row? In their first race of the 2003 spring season, the Andover Girls Crew Team found out, much to their chagrin, that not only could the Lions row, they rowed quite well. Having only had two weeks of water time, the girls failed to contend with their stronger and more conditioned Kent competitors. The Lions, coming off of their annual spring break training trip in Florida, slaughtered the Blue, taking blue ribbons in every race. Kent’s second and third boats managed to beat the Big Blue boats by fairly large margins. Andover’s G1, however, put up a stronger fight, only losing by a mere 3.5 seconds. The day was a long one, and the rowing conditions were unlike what the Blue had grown used to. Kent’s river, more of a stream, barely fit two racing lanes. It was a floating start, in which the boats moved across the starting line before the start of the race. The finish line was a quick 1500 meters down, with the current carrying the boats to a faster time than usual. By the time G1 raced, both the first and second boats had lost. There was a certain fire in the belly of the Blue girls as they readied themselves for the start. It was a quick race down the river, and anxious rowers and parents, waiting at the end of the course, watched to see the crews emerge. The boats remained neck to neck. At this point, either crew could have taken the race. The endurance of the Lions, which can most likely be attributed to their spring training, shone threw. Kent’s G1 pulled ahead in the last few strokes to take the win by a margin of 3.5 seconds, defending their right to the Dent Oars. The second boat, in the first varsity race of the day, matched up evenly with its competitors. The Kent crew got off to a quick start and never looked back, slowly moving farther and farther ahead of the Andover team. With under 500 meters left to go, it was clear that Kent would reach the finish line first. The Andover crew followed and finished about thirteen seconds after Kent, a little more than a boat length behind. G2 was rather disappointed in last Saturday’s race, but still remain optimistic as bowseat Hee-jin Chang ’05 expressed, “It was pretty disappointing, but I know we’re going to get better.” Chang continued, saying, “We need to work on being together in our catches and general boat unity. We kind of fell apart at the end of the race, so we need better endurance too. Still, we’ll get there.” PA’s G3 suffered from similar problems, finishing approximately ten seconds behind the Lions. For half of the girls on G3, this was their first race. As with most races, the start did not go smoothly. There was confusion among the novices at the start command, and the girls unfortunately caught a crab, which caused a rower in the middle of the boat to fall off her seat. The girls recovered and stayed just behind Kent for a good portion of the race. At about 750 meters, however, the Kent crew took on a power piece giving it a substantial lead that it kept for the rest of the race. Andover finished about a boat length and approximately ten seconds, behind Kent. Head Coach Kathryn Green pointed out that one of the strengths of Andover rowing is its ability to improve throughout the course of the season, “Everyone raced hard, but there is lots of room for improvement. Fortunately, improving over the course of the season and with unyielding determination is one of the things Andover crews do best!” Green, like the team, remains optimistic, saying, “We have much work ahead of us, but I know it will be satisfying and worthwhile. We’ll just take it one day at a time, and attack the workload one step at a time.”