Sunday, 12 June 2011

WPI Women's Crew First International Race SATURDAY

A variety of technical issues prevented me from posting last night but I will recap Saturday now.

It was a beautiful day in Reading, where we attended the Reading Amateur Regatta.  You couldn't imagine a better setting.  Perfect water, sunny skies and a lot of great rowing!

The Four started the day with a solid performance but came up a length short.  The day ended for them at 9:30AM.  They spent the rest of the day watching the rowing and preparing themselves for Sunday's racing. 

The Eight had a very strong race. They felt it was one of their better "pieces" of the season, but in the Gladiator's Arena (see Emily Johnson's post at the bottom) a loss is a loss!  They fell to Lady Holles Crew, who sprinted  four seats down with a blazing sprint to beat our women by 2 seats.  We were caught off-guard by this sprint and hope to learn from this experience as we move into the next week of racing.

I will update you on Sunday's results later tonight (highlight: WPI Women's Crew first international Crew victory in both the 4 and the 8). 

EMILY JOHNSON, Class of 2013

Gladiatorial Combat. This phrase was given to us by Coach Guida and is the perfect description of the English style of racing. Two boats are set against each other along a narrow course and allowed to fight for 1500 meters as eager spectators cheer from the sidelines. As their coxswain, I know WPI women’s crew brought the fight from the first stroke. As we rowed the boat down to the course in the pouring rain, spirits were still high and I could feel the nervous energy. At the start we waited anxiously for our competitors, LEH, to arrive. Off the start we pushed through LEH, holding the highest stroke rating we have all season for the first 1100 meters. I could see the looks on my stern pairs’ faces; they gave everything they had for each stroke, making me want to push them harder. The level of pain which these athletes are willing to endure for their team truly amazes me every race.  At the sprint, we struggled to bring the stroke rating up, as we are used to sprinting races back home at the same pace that we had raced this one. There is no doubt in my mind that we were strong enough to beat LEH, but with a higher stroke rating they overtook us and won by 2 or 3 seats. Despite this disappointing loss, we have decided to take today’s race as a learning experience. Tomorrow will be a new challenge as we look to fight our way through three rounds of “Gladiatorial Combat” to show England just how amazing the women of the WPI Women’s Crew Team are. Wish us luck!


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