This past Saturday, Andover Boys Crew raced down Kent’s winding home course alongside the strong rival boats. Unfortunately, Kent’s dominant speed prevailed, edging Andover out by less than two seconds and dashing Andover’s chance at claiming the coveted Dent Oars.
In windy conditions, Kent sailed across the finish line in a notably fast time of 4:22.0 with Andover on its tail in 4:23.7.
Gabe Blanchard ‘16, Nick Faulkner ‘16, Jack Lane ‘15, Dylan Norris ‘16, Ben Hawley ‘15, Marc Sevastopoulo ‘15, Nikolas Robertson ’15 and Rob Irvin ‘15 made up the experienced B1 crew. The only non-returning Varsity rower was Blanchard.
The start of a race can determine the final outcome, and this Saturday proved no exception. Kent surged ahead of Andover by about three seats within the first 15 strokes. Andover’s rowers, however, used their weeks of winter training to gain momentum and stay neck and neck for the majority of the race.
While Irvin kept the stroke rate at about 34 strokes per minute, Kent’s B1 was rowing at about 37 strokes per minute. Even though the speed ultimately pulled Kent ahead in the final stretch of the race, Andover showed greater raw power since they stayed even with Kent with a lower stroke rate.
Andover is confident that this power will help its team in the long run, as capturing speed will ultimately come from training at higher strokes per minute ratings.
Lane said, “There was also a lot lacking in our sprint. We didn’t jack the rating up together, the set fell apart and there was a general frantic air about it. They walked away pretty convincingly in that last segment, which was tough to see.”
As for B2, Kent glided through the finish line in 4:22.7 with Andover following in 4:27.8. B2 was led by coxswain Christina Schoeller ’16 and stroke seat Tyler Lian ’16.
Unlike B1, B2 kicked off the race to a good start, getting ahead of Kent. While making a sharp turn in the middle of the course, Kent saw its chance to pull ahead on Andover’s seats.
Kent’s move turned out to be too much for Andover to make a comeback despite its best efforts. The B2 crew also kept its rating relatively low, staying steady at 32 strokes per minute for the majority of the race.
Diego Blandon ’15, who rowed on B2, said, “There was no sense of urgency, whether we were up or down. The entire race felt flat.”
The level of rivalry is consistently intense when these two teams meet. Historically, this race has resulted in a loss for Andover. Even though Andover is disappointed with the outcome, Kent can always bring out Andover’s competitive side. The team will work hard in practice in hopes to redeem its loss later in the season when the two schools meet again.
Lane added, “As Coach Hurley said, ‘We go to Kent to find out what fast is,’ and we have a lot to work on. It wasn’t our best race, but there was also a lot that was good, and I’m very hopeful about the rest of the season. When we find our swing, we will fly. We can’t wait for the trip to Lake Quinsigamond on Saturday, where we will take on Exeter in the first of the season’s three clashes.”
This Saturday, Andover will travel to Worcester Academy where it will race against six other schools in hopes to avenge its loss.