Shrewsbury, MA—The Ephs put up quick times against Little III rival Wesleyan to take home the Saratoga Oar and the Calhoun Cup.
Due to heavy rains, Wesleyan's home course on the Connecticut River has too strong a current and is filled with debris, which would have lead to unfair racing conditions. Therefore, the races were moved to Sunday, April 21st on the reliable Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury, MA.
Racing kicked of at 1:40pm as the temperatures were in the mid-40s and there was a steady cross-tail wind of between 5 and 10mph. The Ephs again raced in 1V, 2V, and 3V lineups.
The first boat to take the water was the first varsity eight, fighting for the Saratoga Oar—a trophy created in 1969 "to be awarded to the winner of the annual race between Wesleyan, Williams, and Amherst". The trophy is made out of a blade from the victorious Wesleyan crew at the Great Intercollegiate Boat Race in Saratoga in 1878.
Both crews got off to fiery starts, striking at high rates with the tailwind advantage. The race was neck and neck to the 1000m where the course narrowed and created some chop. Through the midway point, the Ephs started to inch ahead of the Wesleyan crew. Over the last 750 meters, the first varsity pulled away to finish in quick time of 5:50.4, nearly 10 seconds ahead of Wesleyan in 6:00.4.
"We really raced a mature piece, keeping our focus in the boat and not getting flustered by having a crew right on top of us," comments captain Zach Tarlow. "This race means a lot to this program and it is steeped in history, so it feels great to bring home the Saratoga Oar for the 6th year in a row."
The next boat out was the second varsity eight, competing for the Philip L. Calhoun Cup—a trophy created for the "Little Three light heavyweight varsity champions," which has become the second varsity award.
Again both crews got off to quick starts, with Wesleyan ahead of the Williams boat by 3 seats at 500 meters in. Wesleyan and Williams fought for inches through the body of the piece, and it wasn't until the last 20 strokes that the Ephs broke through with a powerful sprint and captured the win. Williams finished in a time of 6:00.4 to Wesleyan's 6:01.4.
The last race was between the Williams third varsity boat and Wesleyan's third and fourth varsity boats. The Ephs fought hard throughout the piece, but were eventually outlasted by the Wesleyan 3V. They did, however, come in ahead of the Wesleyan 4V by a considerable margin. The times were 6:17.4, 6:25.4 and 6:43.8, respectively.