Worcester, MA—Lake Quinsigamond greeted the Ephs with temperamental winds and but calm waters at the New England Championships.
The men's team raced three boats on the day—1V, 2V, and 3V. Because of this they were out of contention for the overall point trophy, but still came in an impressive third place due to high finishes by all three boats.
In the heats, the 2V was the first Williams boat to advance to the grand final, besting URI, BC, Middlebury, and UVM with a time of 6:07.8. The 3V did not win their heat, but they still advanced to the grand final by placing second behind a strong Trinity boat. The 1V rounded out the heats by advancing to the grand final, finishing first ahead of Bates in a time of 6:05.6. The times heat to heat varied significantly due to the swirling winds throughout the day.
Afternoon racing started off for the Ephs with the 3V who missed out on a medal by 1.9 seconds, falling to Trinity, Wesleyan, and Bates, respectively. This boat, which has seen numerous changes throughout the year, made huge strides in this race by narrowing margins seen earlier in the year. Comments stroke Sam Chapin, "We are excited to embrace practice this week and find a few more seconds before ECACs next weekend."
The next boat for Williams was the 2V who put together a spectacular gold medal performance to beat out URI, Wesleyan, Trinity, BC, and WPI. The boat was consistent throughout the piece, holding off moves from the field, and capped it off with a strong finish to take the win by 1.9 seconds. "We really executed well and stayed calm through the body of the piece," notes bowman Marshall Akita. "We look forward to trying to get faster this weekend before ECACs."
The last race of the entire regatta was the Men's Varsity Eight Grand Final, which featured Williams, Trinity, Bates, Wesleyan, WPI and URI. The race was tight across the field early, with Williams and Trinity jostling for the lead early. The Ephs and Bantams traded the lead between 500s and Trinity entered the final 500 nearly 6 seats up. The race boiled down to a sprint duel between Trinity and Williams, who fought hard to gain seats in the final strokes. Ultimately the Ephs came up short by a tough 0.9 seconds, just over two seats.
"We had a good race and we executed fairly well, but Trinity was able to create enough distance early on and hold off our sprint just enough," notes captain Zach Tarlow. "We will hit the water this week with a purpose and try to find that 0.9 seconds."
The Ephs race again at Lake Quinsigamond on Sunday, May 12th. At the ECACs National Invitational Regatta, Williams will see a similar field to New Englands with the addition of strong crews in Hobart, Marist, Ithaca, Bucknell, and the University of Michigan.