Boys First Crew Boat Demolished By St. Paul’s; Andover Second Boat Earns First Win of Season

This past Saturday, the Boys Varsity Crew Team took its first loss against the returning New England and Henley Champions, St. Paul’s. In a wet, windy, and cold race, Andover’s B1 was outrowed by a powerful St. Paul’s boat. After a miserable warm-up that had white-capping water flooding the Andover boat, adding nearly 130 moving pounds to the boat, the crews met up at the starting line to quickly begin the race. St. Paul’s immediately claimed the lead, pushing nearly a boat length ahead within the first 30 strokes. Both teams settled, rowing at 32-33 strokes per minute, but St. Paul’s began to increase its lead. By the 300-meter mark, St. Paul’s was a boat-length ahead. After passing through the bridge, receiving frantic calls from its coxswain, the Andover boat observed one of its few moments of focus and quality. Taking back seats from its opponent, who was nearly two full boat-lengths up, the Andover crew finally gelled. But within a moment, the team lost its concentration. Continuing down the course, St. Paul’s made another big push at the 750 meter mark, earning a three-boat length lead. As the boats reached the cheering section, Andover had reeled in a couple seats, but was still lagging greatly. As the teams crossed the finish line, St. Paul’s rejoiced knowing it had defeated the league’s previous number-one team. Andover sat in screaming pain and total silence, seeing its first sign of the entire season that told it to work even harder. In second boat action, the results were much better in Andover’s favor. The members of B2, led by a new, more experienced stroke, pulled themselves to a 0.9 second win. The boat’s first win reflects its dogged pursuit of improvement and success. The team is looking to continue this pattern in an effort to earn a high seed at Interschols. The weekend was certainly a milestone for both crews. B1 notched its first loss, hopefully reinvigorating its hunger and desire. B2 took its first win, showing it that hard work does lead to success. Both teams are in for extremely hard practices this week, preparing for a difficult race this weekend and more importantly the New England Championships. Responding to last weekend’s events, two-year B1 rower Anthony Green ’05 said, “We were beaten. It is terrible, but true. There are a myriad of excuses, some that are even valid, but those tell us nothing. We just need to use this loss as a learning experience. This practice week will be the first true test of our desire to win this season. Honestly, I think it is within this boat’s ability to overcome this obstacle and really make a good showing the rest of the season.”