The Girls Crew made the best of a rough tide, rolling over Tabor but in the same race falling to the hated Exeter Big Red. In all five races, it was really a contest between PA and PEA, and, sadly for Andover, the Big Red managed to reach the line first every time. “It was pretty disappointing, but we have to look forward,” said Captain Meryl Mims ’03. “It’s not what we hoped for, but we’re still going to keep our heads up. Interschols is what counts, and it’s going to be great.” G1’s race was marred by the regrettable steering of the Exeter coxswain. The girls had a strong five stroke start, going off the line at a swift rating of 42 strokes per minute, followed a twenty stroke high and power ten to settle to their race rate. The first third of the race was strong for the ladies and they held on to Exeter. The girls help up on their seven seat at the bridge, the 500 meter mark. Up until then, the Exeter boat was steering towards Tabor, but underneath the bridge she turned and headed toward the Andover boat. “In one instant, as we clearly see her veering towards us, we lose focus,” said six seat Hoppy Maffione ’04. “Even if it was just one instant, we couldn’t get it back.” Exeter went up about a boat length, and stayed there through the remainder of the race. “It was definitely not a great race,” said Maffione. “Who knows what would have happened had the steering not gone wrong, no one can say.” Exeter finished at 5:11, Andover next at 5:18, and Tabor third at 5:29. “This week we prepared to train our hardest,” finished Maffione. “We are psyched for ‘Schols, and want to be out there thirsty for some Exies.” Three seat Jackie Latina ’04 added, “NMH will be like a dress rehearsal for Interschols. We can practice our race plan and see how it goes, and then it’s just one more week to perfect it. We are going to focus and take up the intensity a notch. It will be hard to make up those seven seconds, but I know we can do it.” The second Varsity boat also lost to Exeter, but this time by a much shorter distance. The girls started with the same start as G1, which kept them even with Exeter. “Our start turned out to be a lot stronger than we expected it to be,” commented four seat Kate Ireland ’05. The girls were in fact a full seat up on Exeter until the 500 meter mark when Exeter pulled even. Exeter would have beaten PA by seven seconds or more, if the Big Blue had not pulled an amazing twenty stroke sprint to bring them back up a good five or six seats. Exeter finished in 5:21, just two seconds ahead of Andover at 5:23. Tabor pulled in behind them at 5:34. “Our start was powerful and explosive, but we lost it in the middle. It seems like that’s where a lot of races are lost,” said two seat of G2 Marcella Viktorin ’05. “Still, we got some back by the end, which was very satisfying. And we definitely are going to get them at Interschols. We’ve worked hard this season and we deserve it, next Saturday will be our time to get what we want.” Ireland finished, “We’re impressed with how much we’ve improved on Exeter in a short time. NMH will be a good race to practice our race plan before Interschols, and then we’ll be ready to race Exeter again. We’re excited to prove our strength.” The third JV boat rowed their best race yet this season, pushing Exeter more than they had been all season. Andover was just a seat or two behind through the first 500, but in the middle, Exeter pulled ahead to a boat’s length distance. Exeter finished at 5:44, Andover crossed the line at 5:52, and Tabor pulled in behind at 5:59. After losing to Exeter by more than twenty seconds at Lake Quinsigamond, it’s obvious that the girls have improved a tremendous amount. The top four boats travel to NMH tomorrow for the final race of the regular season. The girls are confident with a win over NMH at the Lake Quinsigamond invitational under their belts.