Girls Crew Thrive in Tough Conditions vs. Tabor and PEA; G1 Defeats Exeter by a Mere .6 Seconds

Faced with strong headwinds and a heavy downpour, Andover’s rowers had a chance to display their resilience and composure this weekend at their home race against Exeter and Tabor. With G1 taking first and G2 losing by a mere second to PEA, it was a successful, if soggy, day out on the Merrimack. Only defeating Exeter by .6 seconds, the G1 race was a tight one from the very beginning. Recovering from the first loss of the season at St. Paul’s last week, the first boat had been working doubly hard, arranging a completely new line-up, start, and sprint in order to prove its mettle once more to the league. Although they had beaten Exeter previously in the season, the crew new it would not be easy to take them a second time around. With a new stroke, as well as the loss of a port to the stomach bug, the boat had a lot to adjust to in a short period of time. During the race, their troubles mounted when a member of the boat lost her seat in the final twenty strokes. Sliding up and down the boat on nothing but her rear, she was able to successfully maintain the power, rhythm, and momentum of the boat. With time-tested resilience, the girls first boat was able to pull through its hardships once more to win with a time of 5:45.7, defeating Exeter by less than a second and smoking Tabor by nearly 30 seconds. The G2 race was a different matter, with Andover losing to Exeter by a mere second. Several weeks ago, at the race at Lake Quinsigamond, G2 had lost to Exeter by a similar margin, so it was of paramount importance to win this race. With a less than perfect start, Exeter pulled ahead, only to be reeled in by an excellent 15 high and settle by the PA boat. The crews were even until the end of the first 500 meters when Exeter walked four seats. Fortunately, Andover was able to retaliate, taking three seats back. After about a thousand meters or so, Exeter was up half a length, so coxswain, Rachel Rauh ’07 called an early sprint. After the first power ten of the sprint, Andover took back then seats, and then Exeter countered, starting its own sprint. In the second ten, Andover held them at only one seat up, but Exeter obtained a two seat lead by the end of the second ten. “It was a good race,” concluded Rauh, “We need to channel our frustration into positive hard work because next time, we will win. We will enter Interschols as the underdog, and we can beat every team we have raced.” Erin Mullany ’07 asserted, “Our boat has been through a lot, but we’ve grown together and these races have only made us stronger. Come Interschols, we’ll finally be able to prove this to everyone.”