Rochester, NY—The Ephs travelled across New York State to return to the Head of the Genesee after a 7-year absence from the race. The conditions were variable throughout the day with swirling winds and mist in the morning and a ripping tailwind but bright sunshine in the afternoon.
The Head of the Genesee is a unique event with the winner being determined based on the weighted times of a morning 4.8km head race and an afternoon 1500m dual. The afternoon pairings were determined based on the morning finished to create the most exciting matchups.
The Ephs took three varsity boats up to Rochester to compete and get a benchmark for the Head of the Charles in two weeks.
The first varsity boat was entered in the Open 8+ event along with Syracuse A and B (Div I), Hobart A and B, and Mercyhurst A. The Ephs had a solid piece finishing in third behind Syracuse A and Hobart A, but they felt they could have had a closer raw time gap. The boat did some internal switches to try up a new lineup for the afternoon, which resulted in a dominant 1500m piece. The Ephs threw down a time over 2 seconds faster than the Hobart A boat, which helped to close the cumulative time gap by 6 seconds. However, this wasn't enough to close the gap from the morning, so the Ephs finished in 3rd place.
The second and third varsity boats were in the Collegiate 8+ event, which immediately followed the Open 8+ event so times were comparable. The 2V had a strong piece starting from the middle of the pack to chase their way to second place behind ECAC rival Ithaca's first boat. The margin was only three seconds, which was encouraging for the Ephs given it was Williams' 2V against their 1V. The boat put on a good show for the afternoon sprint by beating out the Ithaca boat by 0.7s. When the cumulative time was calculated the Ephs still fell short by just under 2 seconds for a 2nd place finish.
The third varsity boat had a calm and composed morning piece which resulted in a good time that put them in the middle of the pack surrounded by 2V's and ahead of some teams' 1V's. The afternoon piece did not go as well, as the challenging conditions proved difficult for the young crew. Overall, they maintained their place in the field as many other crews struggled with the conditions.
Eph head coach Peter Wells noted that he was pleased with the performance of all the boats on Saturday. Each boat had a great performance in at least one of the pieces—the sprint or the headrace. The 2V and 3V had solid morning performances and the 1V and 2V had stellar afternoon sprint pieces.
The crew has the next weekend off from racing, but the week will be filled with hard work hammering out the fastest boats for the Charles, which takes place on Sunday October 19th.