SHELTON, CT – After weeks of fall training, racing finally began for the Williams crew team this weekend in Connecticut. The team embraced the unseasonably warm and sunny weather for the Head of the Housatonic Regatta regatta.
Sixteen varsity rowers came down to the Housatonic to race two eights and three fours this Saturday. The first varsity eight competed in the IRA category, and the second varsity eight competed in the non-IRA category.
The IRA category is essentially division one. Of the eight entrants in the men's collegiate eight IRA event, Williams was the only non-Yale boat. This was an opportunity for the 1V (the first varsity boat) to challenge themselves against some of the most competitive schools out there. The 1V finished fourth, sixteen seconds behind the lead Yale boat and forty eight seconds ahead of the last place Yale boat.
"This was a solid showing for the 1V, there is a lot of power in that boat" says men's team captain Noah Schoenholtz. "But I know there is speed to be gained. We have work to do over the next few weeks!"
"In my mind there is no significant difference between the potential of our rowers and the Division I rowers. We have been successful because we are willing to work as hard as they are – both on and off the water," says head coach Peter Wells.
In the spirit of that work ethic coach Wells entered twelve of the varsity rowers in second races at the Housatonic, in the fours category. Two of the fours were in the IRA category and one in the non-IRA category. The two Williams fours in the IRA category took second and sixth to Yale boats and the non-IRA fourth took third.
The men's second varsity boat (2V) raced very well in the non-IRA category, taking second to Fordham by seven seconds. The 2V is comprised of entirely sophomores and freshmen. The youth in the boat leaves it with a lot of room to improve technically, but also lends the boat a great deal of spring and enthusiasm. "We just want to race," says 2V coxswain Andrew Marsh.
To top off the day's results, the freshmen boat entirely comprised of walk-ons, took third to Yale and Brown's freshmen boats. This was there first experience racing and they took to it very well. The freshmen were full of smiles after coming off the water, but they, like the varsity, are also hungry to improve. The varsity rowers will have that chance in two short weeks at the Head of the Charles, and the freshmen will in the weeks at the Head of the Fish – the culmination of their respective fall seasons.