By Alejandro Serrano, news correspondent
The Northeastern University (NU) men’s and women’s rowing teams rowed an end to their season last weekend at the Foot of the Charles Regatta, racing against local competitions like Harvard University and Boston University (BU) on the Charles River.
Racing commenced on Saturday morning with three women’s races, of which Northeastern competed in two, putting out three varsity eights. The A, or first varsity boat, took first place with a finish time of 21:59.5 minutes, ahead of BU’s lightweight boat by 31.5 seconds and Radcliffe’s (Harvard’s crew) lightweight boat by 38.9 seconds.
“Even though the headwind affected our rowing physically for some strokes, mentally we were able to recover the next stroke and power through the strong gusts,” Erin McElroy, coxswain of the first varsity eight, said in an email to The News. “I believe that it is better to be prepared for situations rather than have a race plan… I do not go on the water on practice or race day and have a race plan to do a move in the ‘first 1000’ or a ‘power 10’ at a specific bridge or landmark. This was beneficial because they moved the course due to the high winds with a different starting and finish line [than the Head of the Charles].”
There were 15 mph north winds, and it was about 45 degrees when the Huskies crossed the finish line at the North Beacon Street Bridge, almost 6,000 meters away from the start at the Riverside Boat Club.
The Huskies’ B boat, second varsity eight, came in eighth place at 23:32.5and the C boat came in 12th place at 23:50.4 minutes. Both boats finishedthe race ahead of their starting bow numbers.
“[The race] felt heavy, and our backs and legs could feel the entire weight of the headwind that we were fighting against, but it is always a fantastic feeling when you get into a rhythm and the cohesiveness of the boat can be felt from the catch [the initial placement of the oar blade] to the finish [when the blade is extracted from the water],” Heather Foti, stroke-seat of the women’s second varsity eight, said in an email to The News.
NU also had one varsity four boat finishin fourth place at 17:43.4 minutes. BU and Boston College (BC) finished first and second, respectively. The race course was shorter for therace. Boats raced to the Head of the Charles finish line past the Elliot Bridge turn.
When the men’s rowing team commenced their race day on Sunday,it was a bit colder. There were a total of six varsity four entries for the Huskies. The B boat finished in third place at 13:02.5, ahead of the Huskies’ A boat that finished 4.6 seconds after at 13:07.1 minutes. Harvard’s A boat won the race at 13:01.1, just ahead of second-place Brown University by half a second.
“The race felt decent, but also very inconsistent — therefore, the poor result,” Ole Henrik Bang-Andreasen, stroke-seat of the A boat, said in an email to The News. “It was good to see that our B boat stepped up when we could not perform at our best. The hardest part is to not be able to perform as well as you have during practice… If the boat does not move well, it is a long race mentally.”
NU closed its fall season with the varsity four race. The team had boats finish in 15th, 20th, 21st and 25th.
“This event continues to be incredibly competitive, and to have the top-five crews finish within 1.9 seconds of each other proves that again,” men’s Head Coach Joe Pojednic told GoNU. “It was great to see that our B boat was able to upend our A boat, which hasn’t been the case in practice. This result shows there is good internal competition and development within program, and is a great way to head into our winter training.”
Photo courtesy Row2k, Northeastern Athletics