In the 2021 season opener race, Andover Boys Crew’s quick starts allowed for a full sweep on Hingham on the Merrimack River this past Saturday. This race established the team’s record at 1-0.
According to Kevin Guo ’21, the team looked forward to the race due to the long period of time since many teammates had last competitively raced. Guo noted how the experience in the days leading up to the race was similar for both new and old players.
Guo said, “A lot of people were pretty excited for this race considering it was the first race for many people and the first race in a long time. For me, this is the first race in an [eight-person boat] since my Lower summer, so we were definitely looking forward to the race. Expectations were reasonable; we thought that we would win, and we did. Everyone was hyped after the race and it was well deserved.”
Coming into the first race of the season, the team worked on perfecting its technique and coordination to best prepare for the race, as well as construct and finalize boat lineups, according to Michael Choi ’21.
“[The race made us] able to practice with the same people over and over and getting to know who they are working with and what their strengths are. Also, knowing the river better than the other team has helped a lot. There is not much to prepare for a race, because you won’t know what the conditions are, how good the other crew may be. From our side though, I think our crew did the best they could in terms of preparing,” said Choi.
Andover attributes its success to the effort and time the team had put into perfecting its technique to gain an advantage in the early stages of the races, according to Jack Savell PG’21 and Guo.
“In practice we were working on our starts and getting our blades in and staying all together. In the race, we got off to a good start and began to push away from the other crew,” Savell said.
Guo continued, “For my race in particular, it was defined from the beginning. Our start was quick, we got off the block and within our first twenty strokes, we were a couple seats ahead. That lead sort of continuously built over the course of the race.”
According to Guo, despite the team’s convincing win, the team hopes to continue blending the novices into the lineups and the team culture.
“Right now we are working on continuing to integrate and build up the novices more. Today, we are rowing in mixed lineups to try to get everyone some competitive racing and that went pretty well. One other thing to work on is rowing when you’re getting tired. It can be easy to lose your form and concentration when you’re exhausted, but keeping it together is key if you want to win races,” said Guo.
Andover hopes to maintain this momentum as it takes on Boston College High School this Saturday at home.