Medford, MA — The Ephs kicked off their season by traveling to Medford to square up with Coast Guard, Middlebury, and Tufts on Tufts' home course. The Malden River is narrow and only allows two crews to race at a time. Additionally, the course featured an S bend around 500 meters into the race which advantaged the inside lane first before turning out and favoring the outside lane. Because only two crews could race at a time, events were contested in two rounds, bracket style. Each crew raced twice, once in the morning then again in the early afternoon.
The first race of the morning saw the 1V lining up against Coast Guard in a tightly contested race. Both crews got off the line cleanly and came into the turn even. Coast Guard had the inside lane and took advantage of the first turn to take seats off the Ephs. The Ephs stayed strong against the move and pressed their advantage once the bend shifted in their direction. The Ephs seized on the advantage provided by their turn and took the lead. As the boats came by the Tufts boathouse the Ephs had a razor thin 1 seat lead. Coming into the finish, the Ephs sprinted and cemented their lead, winning by a narrow margin. The final times were Williams 6:15 Coast Guard 6:16.
Next up the Ephs 2V lined up against Coast Guard in the same lanes. The first half of the race played out much like the 1V, with both boats pressing leads on their respective turns. Coming through the 1000 meter mark the Ephs launched a massive move to seize a several seat lead on Coast Guard. For the rest of the race, The Ephs continued to walk out on Coast Guard, finishing with open water between them. The final times were Williams 6:29 Coast Guard 6:35.
The Ephs 3V followed against the Tufts novice boat. The Ephs fell behind off the line but settled well, and took back the lead during the Tufts advantage. Coming through the 1000 meter mark the Ephs had a length lead on Tufts. Through the last 500 meters the Ephs pressed their advantage and finished with an open water lead. The final times were Williams 6:51 Tufts 6:56.
The Ephs 1V were back on the water less than an hour after the conclusion of their first race to line up against Tufts, who had defeated Middlebury in their morning race. The Ephs got off the line with Tufts, but fell back during the Tufts advantage on the first turn. The Ephs managed to make up some distance during their own turn, but could not pull back even. The Jumbos inched out on the Ephs through the rest of the race finishing several seats ahead. The final times were Tufts 6:21 Williams 6:23. Stroke seat Jarrett Heflin '20 felt that "We showed up and had a good race despite the weather not cooperating so much this week. I'm confident that we'll have a good shot at coming back later in April."
The Ephs 2V followed shortly after against Tufts. Off the line the Ephs jumped to a quick one seat lead but fell back during their settle strokes. Tufts took their inside turn advantage to jump out ahead of the Ephs by a significant margin. Behind after the first turn, the Ephs struggled to find good rhythm and ratio. They finished with open water behind Tufts. The final times were Tufts 6:28 Williams 6:49. Adam Zoen '19 was proud of how the team handled the race and sees lots of room for improvement with more time on the water: "We have a lot we can be proud of, especially in our first race given the inclement weather keeping us off the water the past week. For our first strokes in over a week we showed a lot of tenacity. Next time we line up against Tufts we'll be hungry for the win." Novice Cameron Edgar felt similar about how his first ever sprint race went: "Coming out for my first race I think we saw a lot of potential for going forward. I think going forward with more time on the water and more race experience I think we have a lot of room to improve."
The Ephs 3V lined up against Tufts 3V next. The Ephs fell behind early on the turn but were able to hold Tufts to a small margin through the base of the race. Coming into the final stretch Tufts made a move to pull open. The final times were Tufts 7:01 Williams 7:12. The varsity four rounded off the day by racing against their counterparts from Middlebury. The Ephs novices in the four performed valiantly while racing for the first time, but fell to their more experienced competition. The final times were Middlebury 7:41 Williams 8:17. 3V stroke and novice Ian Pultz-Earle felt that "It was a lot of fun to race for the first time. The overall result wasn't as good as it could have been but it just makes us all hungrier and ready to train hard and come back better next week."
The Ephs will be back in action next Saturday to race WPI & MIT on Lake Quinsigamond for the Donahue Cup.