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Men's Crew Finishes Second in Show Row

By Adam Cotner, Luis Ortiz, and Anand Raghunathan
Team members

In the spirit of old style fixed seat rowing, the MIT Varsity Heavyweight Crew embarked in the 16th annual Snow Row last weekend in Hull, Mass. This event draws competitors from around New England to race. MIT finished in second place.

The crew, consisting of Toby Ayer '96, Mattias Baxmann G, Marc Carlin '96, Jarred Cottrell '97, Robert Lentz '98, Jon Li '93, Robert Morrison '96, Luis Ortiz '96, Chris Putnam '96, Brian Smith '97, coxswain Anand Raghunathan '96, Captain Gordon Hamilton, and First Mate Russell Hamilton raced in the Egalite, a replica of a 1797 French Man of War 10-oared captain's gig. MIT's main competition came from the crew of the Liberte, Egalite's sister ship.

The race, held in Hingham Bay, included a Le Mans start followed by three legs. The first leg led out to Sheep Island where the boats turned and headed towards the Dolphin Peak marker. From there the boats headed back to the start.

MIT fell behind slightly as the crews turned their boats around and began the first leg. The Pilot edged ahead as the Liberte and Egalite battled for second place. The rough seas and cold wind gave the MIT crew some difficulty while the Liberte's crew, consisting of experienced fixed-seat oarsmen, handled the water with relative ease. Approaching Sheep Island, the Liberte's coxswain plotted a sharp turn from the inside lane, but a brilliant course by Raghunathan barely cleared a sand bar and stole the inside position for the second leg.

A tail wind on the second leg allowed the MIT crew to row with more ease. In a decisive move, MIT pulled ahead and rounded the second marker ahead of the Liberte, as First Mate Russell prayed to Poseidon for victory. The lead opened as MIT gained on the Pilot.

The race ended before the inexperience MIT fixed-seat oarsmen could catch the Pilot, but next year presents another opportunity to go for gold. Catch the MIT crew back on the Charles April 6 as they begin their regular season against Columbia.