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Boston Weather: 32.0°F | Overcast

Neither Sleet Nor Snow Could Stop Men's Crew

By Vern Shrauger
Team Member

Last weekend the men's varsity heavyweight crew team competed in the 1993 Annual Snow Row in Hull. The triangular 3.5 mile course was set in the historic mouth of Boston Harbor. Oarsmen Jeff Tomasi '95, John Li '93, Kevin Corgan '93, Steve Carbone '94, Jeff Myjak G, Matt Drake '94, Vern Shrauger G, and Hans Liemke '94 and coxswain Scott Blackwell G braved the below-freezing temperature and blowing snow to firmly clench the last place position.

The race consisted of a number of sea faring boats, varying from single sculled shells to 10-man coxed livery boats. The boats were typically fixed-seat rowed, and the race started and finished from shore. Upon the starting signal, the MIT crew ran to its beached vessel and scrambled to launch and right its borrowed boat. The squad had a strong start, but Blackwell shortly discovered that this behemoth of a boat was unsteerable with a meager rudder in the whipping gusts and 4- to 6-foot wave swells. Blackwell then called out power strokes to the ports and the starboards to zig-zag the MIT boat through the course.

Halfway through the race course, the crew happened upon a swamped and sinking single sculler. Shrauger plucked the soaked rower from the frigid waters and Myjak, Shrauger, and Liemke hauled his disjointed shell and rigging aboard. To maintain body temperature, the harbor-drenched victim replaced oarsman Myjak, who took up position as bow scout. Eventually, the augmented crew finished the race in 1 hour and 50 minutes; approximately 1 hour after the first boat returned to shore.