Boys Crew Pulls Ahead to Beat NEIRA Champions at Season Opener

B1: 4/6 – Andover: 4:34.4 Salisbury: 4:41.2 Deerfield: 4:45.1

Boys Crew (1-0) competed in its first race of the season against Deerfield, Salisbury, and Belmont Hill on Saturday. Both boats 1 (B1) and 3 (B3) finished in first, each finishing over five seconds before the second place finisher. Boats 2 (B2), 4 (B4), and 5 (B5) all came in second, and Boat 6 (B6) came in third.

According to Sia Gandhi ’24, the coxswain of B1, the team was anxious going into the race as it was the opening regatta of the season.

“It was our first race of the season, so there were definitely some nerves going into it, but we were able to pull it together and we were happy with the result. But it still is our first race, so there’s a lot to learn from it and a lot to improve upon. Overall, this was a pretty good start to the season,” said Gandhi.

Gandhi also noted the disadvantageous weather during the week leading up to the race — for two out of the five days of practice, the team could not go on the water. The team worked around this setback, however, and used it as an opportunity to work on their technique.

Gandhi said, “This past week, the weather hasn’t been great, so we had two days where we couldn’t go on the water. But other than that, I think we took advantage of the time we did have on the water and outside of the water. We were putting in a lot of work on the ergs, and so that was really important, and I feel like the beginning of the season is really good for building up strength and getting that technical foundation, so that was really our focus this week.”

Charlie Domina ’27, a member of B3, expressed his apprehension when going into the race. Prior to Saturday, the boat lineups were not set in stone, so the team had to acclimate quickly to their boatmates.

“We hadn’t gotten a lot of time in these lineups before Saturday, for my boat, it was just Friday. We were the other boat that won, the [B3]. [Friday’s practice] hadn’t felt great, but then on Saturday, at the start, it really just came together, and everyone did great. But with more time and more defined lineups, there will be better results,” said Domina.

Dean Burton ’26, a rower in B1, expressed his satisfaction with the results of the race, especially considering they were up against Deerfield, a historically strong team.

“Last year, Deerfield was a really good team. They swept NEIRAs, so they won every race. We were really looking to get back at them this year. I’m really proud of the team, [and]w that we managed to stay strong throughout the race and we managed to come off with a couple wins,” said Burton.

Burton mentioned the mentality that Head Coach Taylor Washburn ’03 had been instilling in the team. Rather than focusing on the things the team did poorly, he told them to use “tunnel vision” to latch on to the things the team did well and continue that throughout the season.

Burton said, “One thing we worked on was tunnel vision, so you’re obviously going to take bad strokes, and you just got to really come back from that and not think about what you did wrong and more of what you’re doing right.”

Boys Crew will race against Kent at home this Saturday.