PA Boys Crew Fights Back From Slow Start, Takes Open-Water Victory Over Rival Exeter

This past weekend, the Boys Varsity Crew Team returned to its winning ways against Tabor and Exeter. On the first nice racing day of the season, Andover hosted its final and biggest home race of the season. The boys first boat entertained the home crowd nicely with a dominant victory, reasserting its competitiveness within the league this year. Off the start, Andover dropped a few seats to Exeter and stayed even with Tabor. Exeter continued to make an early push, grabbing about two extra seats. However, at about one minute into the race, Andover retaliated, pulling even with the Exeter crew. At this point, both Andover and Exeter began to pull away, leaving Tabor permanently out of the main competition. In the middle 500 meters, Andover went to work as it has been doing all season. Slowly taking seats, the home crew started to drive for a real lead. Immediately after it started its final sprint, the boat cruised past the cheering section with nearly a full boat-length lead. With its newly found effective sprint, Andover pulled away even farther in the final meters, finishing with a little open water between the two boats. With only a few elated cries, the boat sat happy with a performance that places it back on the path it had been on earlier in the season, a winning path. The final times were: Andover: 5:18.3, Exeter: 5:22.6, Tabor: 5:37.5. In second boat action, Andover struggled. With another disappointing finish, it will hit the practice water hard this week, looking for some redemption in the final regular season race while simultaneously gearing up for Interschols. Andover came in last of the three boats. The times were: Exeter: 5:25.4, Tabor: 5:31.5, Andover: 5:32.0. Overall, the weekend was a successful one. B1 got back to where it needed to be after its terrible showing versus St. Paul’s, while B2 certainly realized that winning one weekend means nothing the next weekend. This week, the crews will finish their season’s strenuous workouts, for the following week is Interschols and taper week. Both boats are preparing to race away at NMH. For the first boat this is a crucial race; NMH has shown itself to be a worthy opponent within the league and a solid win would certainly make an even better case for a high seed at Interschols. The second boat can use this weekend to unleash what it has been working on all year, and finish the regular season on a good note and head into the final weekend with confidence. Captain Peter Belisle ’05 said, “I’m especially proud of our fantastic resiliency in response to the abysmal performance last week. Thinking about this last week of the regular season, I’m excited to finish up hopefully with a big win against a competitive crew on their home course.” NMH has the most difficult course, with a huge turn in the middle and a staggered start, giving the outside boat a half length lead to start. It will be a true test of the mental strength of the rowers and the skill of their coxswains.