Starting out strong in the B1 race, Andover Boys Crew kept in close stride with Kent during Saturday’s race on the Merrimack River. Unfortunately, Kent’s boat crept ahead of the Andover boat in the middle of the course, ultimately leading Andover to fall to Kent’s top boat by 5.2 seconds, finishing with a time of 4:55.2. Andover’s B2, B3, and B4 boats also fell to Kent by 11.9, 10.3, and 0.6 seconds respectively.
In comparison to past races against a consistently strong Kent team, Andover’s top boat put up a strong and hardfought performance on Saturday, according to Sebastian Frankel ’20.
“Kent is generally the strongest school in the NEIRA conference, and often one of the best in the country. The B1 lost by five seconds. We rowed a really good race, they were truly just stronger. Kent tends to peak right now, while we tend to at the final competition, NEIRAs. For example, they beat us by 12 seconds at last year’s race, but just three seconds at NEIRAs. Compared to past races, this was a particularly good race for B1 against Kent,” said Frankel.
Frankel added, “Our boat rowed an excellent race through headwinds and cold. For this meet, we worked a lot on our starts and finishes, and both payed off for the race. It was towards the middle where Kent crept past us that we need to work on.”
The weather on Saturday was windy and cold, causing the water to be choppier than the calmer waters of the Merrimack River that Andover was used to practicing and racing on, according to Nick Demetroulakos ’19 and Norman Walker ’20.
“The weather was very rough with an almost direct headwind and head current. This resulted in some slower race times and it is often hard to stay connected and keep it about moving when the wind is against you. Nonetheless at least the second boat I think did a good job of staying together and moving the boat forward through the rough water and wind,” said Demetroulakos.
“For the team as a whole, weather was the biggest challenge. It created wavy conditions and was a bit chilly… The water was choppy which gave Kent an advantage since they practice on choppy water,” added Walker.
Moving forward, Andover hopes to focus on the positive from Saturday’s race and work on technique in practice as well, according to Demetroulakos.
Demetroulakos said, “All of the boats, though they lost felt that they rode good pieces and everyone is very excited to see where we can take the program. [Head] Coach [Dale] Hurley often says that we can races are the true beginning of the season. In practice we have been working really hard on our endurance and strength though this upcoming week we are going to spend some more time focusing on technique in order to really get our boats moving as efficiently as possible.”
Andover will face off against Boston College High School at home on Saturday.