Despite the teams’ hard work on the water over these past two weeks, Andover faced tough losses against Kent in its first meet of the season on Saturday. Among the six boats that raced this weekend, only two brought home victories. The boys first boat took an early lead in its race, but Kent was able to surpass it during the middle 500 meters. Kent maintained the lead throughout the rest of the race and beat Andover by eight seconds. “We had a great start, but after that, we had so much adrenaline that we never settled down the rating until it was too late, at which point Kent moved on us,” said Teddy Teece ’09. “This was our first race of the season and Kent’s third, so they were just calmer than we were,” he continued. According to Teece, Andover faced other disadvantages as well. “They moved in front of us so we were rowing in their wash for the majority of the race, which is something we could have protested if this were interschols,” he said. The boys second boat had an exceptional start, and continued this positive momentum throughout the race. Kent pulled a power ten strokes after each 500 meters, all of which Andover’s second boat was able to hold off. By the middle 500 meters of the race, Andover’s second boat was an entire boat length ahead of Kent. Andover won by 2.2 seconds and with an open water lead. “There was no better way to start off the season,” said Chris Calkins ’11. “The victory was a real confidence boost for our boat.” The girls first boat experienced a close loss, but followed a much different race plan from the boys’ boats. Kent’s girls first boat took the lead at the start, and gained an entire boat-length up on Andover after the first 100 meters. Andover managed to shrink the gap during the middle 500 meters, and maintained a half of a boat length behind Kent for the remainder of the race. Kent won by three seconds. “Having trained over spring break, Kent has a more developed race plan than we do this early on in the season,” explained coxswain Erica Segall ’09. “They went off at a higher stroke rating, had bigger moves, and knew how to sprint.” She continued, “Only a week into our season, we stayed right on the tail of a crew that had been training for weeks, and we certainly didn’t make their win easy for them.” She hopes that as the season progresses the team’s timing will improve, its technique will become cleaner, and its race plan will become more focused and refined. Kent got ahead of the Andover’s girls second boat within the first five strokes of the race, and maintained this distance until the finish. Kent pulled at a higher stroke rating the entire way through, and finished 7.3 seconds ahead of Andover. This week, as the team prepares to face its first meeting of the season with Exeter, it will work on increasing its speed off the line and improving its effectiveness at the base rating, where the entire Andover team rows the bulk of the race.