Malden, MA – Williams Crew kicked off their 2019 spring campaign on the Malden River with two races against Tufts, Coast Guard, and MIT lightweights.
The races were conducted tournament style with the winners and losers of the first races squaring off against each other in the second races. A light tail wind made for perfect rowing conditions.
The Tufts course is abnormal in that it features two turns early in the course in which crews take turns rowing along the inside edge. This allows the inside crew to gain an initial edge before the outside crew gains the advantage on the second turn.
The 1V kicked off the day's racing in the outside lane against in a duel against Tufts. Early jitters hindered the Ephs off the start as they initially fell back by a seat on the Jumbos, but the crew quickly pulled itself together to go up on Tufts heading into the first turn. Williams was able to hold Tufts even through the first turn and then press their advantage through the second turn. From there Williams walked away with the race and won by a length of open water. Williams finished in a time of 5:59 to Tuft's 6:05.
In the 1V's second race against Coast Guard the crew improved on their start and came through 250 meters up a seat. By the end of the first turn Williams was bow to stern ahead of Coast Guard. Williams continued to pull ahead of Coast Guard through the rest of the race and finished with a commanding lead. Williams finished in a time of 6:06 to Coast Guard's 6:17.
Stroke seat Jarrett Heflin thought his boat's performance was reflective of its training: "the race confirmed the work that we've been doing."
The 2V opened the morning in the outside lane against Tufts. After a smooth start put Williams up coming into the turn, Tufts battled back to even by pressing their advantage on the turn. Undaunted, Williams pushed back ahead during their own turn and found a strong base rhythm to gain speed through the base. Williams broke open water with a strong move through the middle and was able to walk away in the second half of the race. Williams finished in 6:13 to Tuft's 6:22.
In their second race the 2V lined up against the MIT lightweights in the outside lane. Williams held even all the way through the first turn before pulling up on the second turn. With another strong middle move Williams was able to pull ahead and finish with an open water lead. Williams finished in 6:18 to MIT's 6:25.
When asked for a comment, Jack Ellrodt described his boat's performance as "like a fine sandwich. Meaty in the middle and crisp on both ends with just the right amount of sauce."
The 3V lined up against Tufts in the outside lane to start the morning. Williams was even with Tufts to close out their starting sequence but failed to shift down and went down by a length through the first turn. Through the rest of the race Williams held Tufts to their lead but was unable to press back. Williams finished in a time of 6:29 to Tuft's 6:22.
Also competing in the 3V event, the Williams 4V raced Coast Guard. Williams picked up a large early lead through the start and was ahead by open water coming out of the turns. The crew lost its rhythm through the middle of the race and began to fall back towards Coast Guard, but the rowers were able to put it back together in the final 500 meters to win by open water. The final times were Williams in 6:37 and Coast Guard in 6:41.
In the second races of the day the Williams 3V quickly pulled up on Coast Guard, and continuously pulled away throughout the course of the race. Williams finished in 6:27 to Coast Guard's 6:52. In the 4V's race against Tufts, Tufts finished in 6:26 to Williams' 6:54.
4V Coxswain Margot Berman was pleased that her boat "had a lot of energy and just wouldn't quit."
Williams is back in action next Saturday in the Donahue Cup against WPI & MIT on Lake Quinsigamond.