This past warm and windy Saturday morning, Andover Girls Crew loaded up the bus for a three-hour journey to Kent, CT., to race Kent.
The G2 and G1 boats were not as lucky as some of the novice boats, which defeated Kent handily. G2, with a time of 5:16.6, lost to Kent’s G2, which finished in 5:11.9. G1, with a time of 5:16.2, also lost, almost eight seconds behind Kent’s top boat.
In last year’s matchup against Kent, G1 and G2 put forth resilient efforts but were ultimately defeated by their tough Kent counterparts by 7.3 seconds and 3.5 seconds, respectively.
On April 4th, Andover’s first race against Essex was canceled due to strong winds and unsafe water conditions. Only G1 was able to race, leaving Saturday’s race to be G2 and G3’s first since last May. A lineup switch affected the top three boats, as Amanda Krakauer ’15 replaced Charlotte Chazen ’15 on G1.
Head Coach Dale Hurley said, “We were also preparing for a tail current and tailwind, and it turned into more of a headwind, so it switched on us and we had set the boats up for something different.”
With these obstacles aside, Andover used the bus ride to mentally prepare itself for a showdown between two strong crew teams thawing from the cold winter training.
The loss had a profound impact on G1, as there were six seniors on that boat vying for their last opportunity for the Hart Perry Trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the Kent-Andover G1 race.
“We knew that is was going to be a tough race coming in to it,” said Co-Captain Elizabeth Kemp ’15. “It’s never easy to have to race three hours away on an extremely fast and narrow course.”
“Having the Kent race early in the season is always great because it’s a good measure of our speed and a starting off point,” Kemp continued. “We now know what we need to do to become the fastest we can at the end of the season and are very motivated to get there.”
G2 was also aware of improvements it needed to make.
“Leading up to this weekend’s race, our boat focused a lot on staying together and staying long [in our strokes],” said Liz Irvin ’17. “We’ve spent a lot of time working on the start of the race, but once we get more comfortable in the middle 500 [meters], we’ll have a response to moves made by the other crews.”
Next week, Andover will travel to Worcester Academy to take on its top rival, Exeter, along with Northfield Mount Hermon, Shrewsbury, Boston Latin, Simsbury and Brooks at Lake Quinsigamond.