RACING!

Back in the chilly north.  It actually feels pretty good returning to Williamstown, where the sky is blue, the homework is unceasing, and my frosh are still loveably annoying.  Winning yesterday also helps.

We got up at 7am yesterday, late by Myrtle Beach standards, to an awesome breakfast at the Costanzas, and quickly packed up to hustle our way down to the Schuylkill River. It started out cold, but got warmer, with a pretty strong headwind the entire day.  The 2V started out the day of racing for the men, lining up with St. Joe’s and Marietta around 10.  We were feeling a little nervous, but were fast out of the start and had open water on the second place boat by the 1000 meter mark. Starting the season out with a win like that felt really good, although I still managed to vomit after we finished. Don’t worry, no pictures. The 1V also made short work of their competition in the morning, moving away by a boatlength or so of open water after their midcourse move.  The freshmen came in third, but were admirably scrappy and kept in the mix the entire race, maintaining contact with the second place finisher to the end of the race.

After a good tuck-in a the parent’s tent (thanks so much to Jamie and Sarah Treco and the rest of the parent volunteers for keeping this delectable tradition going) it was time for the afternoon’s racing, a “brush” (not an official race) with the UPenn lightweight team.  There was a lot of debate over whether we were going to “bet shirts” for this race.  For those of you who don’t know this arcana of crew culture, usually boats bet their team T-shirt on the outcome of the race.  Thus, if we lost, we would have to give our beloved purple varsity crew shirts to the other team.  Despite some shuffling of the boats’ lineups, we decided to go for it, with good results.

In the 2V, we ended up having one of the better races that I’v taken part in.  Penn was quick off the line, expectedly, but we managed to pul even with them at around 500 meters in.  We had only been able to take a seat on them by halfway through, but egged on by the snarls of Cox’n Michelle McRae ’12, we took about half a length on our midcourse move, and fended off any advance by the other crew through a very exciting sprint and finish.  Even more awesome, we brought our boat together with the Penn boat after the race to get shirts and chat, in a throwback to how betting shirts was done in the past.

The 1V, aided by the return of stroke Alex Treco ’12, blew out their respective competition, and screamed down the course.  The freshmen didn’t do as well, but held strong in the face of a lightweight Division I freshman crew that will probably be competing with crews like Harvard this year.

All in all, a great day of racing and a great way to start of this season, and incidentally, finish off this blog.  I’m going to try to update the last blog post with some pictures of skits that I may have gotten from a certain women’s team member whose name rhymes with Pana Folden.  If you want to keep up with our season throughout this month, check out our Williams Athletics page at http://williams.prestosports.com/sports/mcrew/index and see times and pictures at http://www.row2k.com/.

Thanks for reading and enduring my ineptitude in the blogosphere!

Matt