The Radcliffe heavyweight crew dropped its second straight race, falling to Dartmouth Saturday on the Connecticut River in Hanover, N.H.
After failing to place in the San Diego Crew Classic two weeks ago, and dropping a not so close decision to Princeton last weekend, the Black and White heavies were edged out by five seats by the Big Green. The University of New Hampshire came in a distant third.
Last season, Radcliffe dropped a single race--a one-second heartbreaker to Dartmouth. This year, the Big Green increased its margin of victory by nearly three seconds.
Nevertheless, without a victory to show for its efforts this year, the Black and White's loss was just as disheartening as last season's.
The heavies overpowered the Big Green from the gun. Radcliffe's strategy was to row an explosive first 500 to set an aggressive stroke rating.
The Black and White would hold its advantage for the first 1500.
"For the Princeton race we lacked quickness and an aggressive start," said Co-Captain and five seat Jenny Hale. "We had that for Dartmouth. We came off the line fast."
At the 1200 mark the Black and White had a boatlength lead. Then the Big Green made their move Radcliffe continued to lose ground during the final 800 meters, as Dartmouth pulled away unchallenged.
"At 1500 meters we started to die, while Dartmouth gained momentum," said coxswain Mary Boland.
The Black and White was unable to sustain, its unusually intense stroke rating over the entire course and will work on its endurance in the upcoming week.
"Last week we worked on quickness, now we'll work on keeping the rating up over a long piece," said Hale.
The defeat severely bruises Radcliffe's record and upsets its chances for a good seed in the Eastern Sprints.
Although all Eastern crews advance to the Sprints, the regular season determines the seedings for the heats and provides the best indication of what to expect at the winner-take-all event.
Despite the negative repercussions of the Dartmouth race, the Black and White remains optimistic. "We really came together as a boat and feel it was a positive loss," said Hale.
And after many changes in the line-up, it appears that Radcliffe Coach Lisa Stone is a Stone is satisfied with this week's boat.
"We are finally happy with the line-up," said Hale.
The Black and White maintains that the loss was disappointing but encouraging. The odds are stacked against the heavies for a comeback against Yale after three successive losses.
The heavies will showdown with Yale next weekend on the Charles, but since the Bulldogs edged out Dartmouth last week, the Black and White face an uphill battle.
The J.V. heavies came in second behind Dartmouth, and UNH took third.