Crew Makes Good Showing In Textile River RegattaBy Toby Ayer
The MIT heavyweight crew made a decent showing at last Sunday's Textile River Regatta in Lowell. Racing against a number of clubs and Division II/III schools, MIT's first Open Four came in first place with a time of 19:32. Both the Club Eight and the Open Eight finished fourth in their events, finishing in 18:32 and 18:03, respectively.
This weekend, the team heads to Pittsburgh for the Head of the Ohio races.
Nearly every member of the squad rowed the three-mile "head" race twice on Sunday: four fours were entered in the Open Four event, and those boats then consolidated to form the eights for the later events.
The regatta was the inaugural race for the first four's new boat, the Pollux, and the first competition for bow-man Victor H. van Berkel '96 since he switched to the port side. The other three members of the first-place finishing boat rowed in last year's gold-medal Head of the Charles Open eight.
The second four - rowing in the Pollux's twin boat, the Castor - finished in 20:05 behind the University of Buffalo, Wesleyan, and the University of Vermont. The third four was twelve seconds behind in seventh place, and the fourth boat another fifty seconds back at eleventh. Coach Gordon Hamilton thought the fours rowed "reasonably well," noting that Buffalo was a "good, experienced crew."
With under two hours of rest after the fours race, all the oarsmen launched again for the eights races. The Club Eight trailed Boston College, UMass Amherst, and Community Rowing, finishing nineteen seconds behind first-place BC. As Hamilton pointed out, they were "ahead of all but the best of the Division II/III varsity first boats."
The Open Eight had a very disappointing race. "We rowed like shoes," Hamilton said. Most of the race was spent in an agonizing approach to a Colby College eight. When MIT finally passed Colby, the two boats veered into one another. Blades clashed and stroke Adam B. Cotner '96, caught a crab (too much water). Once the boats separated, Tech moved back quickly and easily, finishing far ahead of Colby but behind the Coast Guard, Riverside Boat Club, and Union Boat Club, who won in 17:44.
Hamilton suggested that Sunday's heat, and fatigue from the earlier races, affected the crew's performance. Few other squads had oarsmen competing twice; one such team, BC, won the Club Eight event but then finished very poorly in the Open Eight.