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Women's Crew Retains NEW-8 Regatta Title

By Megan Jasek
Team Captain

The women's crew team held strong this weekend at the New England Women's Eight Conference Regatta. The weather was outstanding: The sun shining and very little wind made conditions perfect for racing.

The NEW-8 Regatta field consisted of crews from MIT, Smith College, Wellesley College, and Mount Holyoke College. The MIT team raced three varsity boats and two novice boats.

The varsity eight defeated their competitors with a time of 7 minutes, 17 seconds, crossing the line 12 seconds before Wellesley, the nearest opponent. MHC and Smith came in much later, crossing the line with times of 7:37 and 7:41, respectively.

The varsity boat had an excellent race, starting off at a 43 stroke rating, and settling to a 3435 stroke rating. They pulled away from Wellesley at the 1250 meters to go mark and kept moving ahead until the finish. Because the varsity eight race decides who will be the champion of the NEW-8 Regatta, MIT's name will go on the winner's plaque for the second year in a row.

The second novice boat had another outstanding performance, crushing the competition again. With a time of 7:55, it finished 37 seconds before any the next boat. This boat has been consistently winning with margins of this magnitude and is expected to do very well at the National Championships at the end of the season.

The opponents did not have a third varsity boat so both the MIT second and third varsity boats raced in the second varsity race. MIT lost this match-up by a hair to Mount Holyoke; MHC crossed the line with a time of 7:42, with MIT's second varsity a close second with a time of 7:45, followed by MIT's third varsity, with a time of 7:59.

The second varsity members felt that they had a good race. They held their own against the competition all the way down the course at a rating of 3334 strokes per minute. Their start was strong and their sprint was fast. The crew is eager to race MHC again.

The resulting win over the Smith and Wellesley second varsity boats gave the Engineer's third varsity boat a reason to be happy with their race. They too had a great sprint and were swinging down the course at a 3234 stroke rating.

The first novice boat lost to MHC and Wellesley with a time of 7:50, 8 seconds behind the winning crew. However, it finished 40 seconds ahead of Smith.

There is also a points award that is given to the team that accumulates the most points for the day. Different amounts of points are given to crews for first, second, and third place finishes. MIT and MHC had the same number of points at the end of the day, but the tie breaker is the varsity race. So the trophy went to MIT, again, for the second year in a row. MIT hopes to keep up the winning tradition.