Driven by desperation, the Radcliffe heavyweight crew scored an enormous upset, knocking off highly touted Yale on the Charles River this Saturday.
For the Fast's fourth-ranked Elis, the race was a huge disappointment, for the Black and White, without a significant victory, the race was long-awaited vindication.
This triumph may signal a turnaround in Radcliffe's frustrating season. After losing three consecutive races, the heavies needed this one.
"Desperation made the difference in this race," said Co-Captain Jenny Hale.
The heavies stunned the Elis at the start, grabbing a three-seat lead in the first thirty strokes. in her second appearance as Radcliffe stroke. Marianne Romack settled the boat at a healthy 35-stroke rating after the opening burst.
In last week's disappointing four-second loss in a well conditioned Dartmouth crew, the Black and White lost a boatlength lead and the race, because it failed to maintain an aggressive stroke rating for the last 500 meters of the course.
Saturday morning, the heavies kept up their pace for the entire 2000 meters.
"They were amazing," coxswain Mary Roland said "They never let up and had no problem keeping the rating up at a 35 or 36."
The Elis were caught napping by the Black and Whity I war weeks ago, Yale edged the same Big Green that handily disposed of Radcliffe last weekend.
The Yale heavies had a shaky start, possibly as a result of the choppy waters and a gusting headwind. The Black and White ignored the poor racing conditions and took command of the race while Yale faultered.
"Maybe we are a rough water crew," said Radcliffe Coach Lina Stone. "Yale was having a hard time and we just kept taking advantage of it."
At the 750-meter mark, the Elis attempted a comeback but the heaven counteracted them and increased their lead to a boatlength of open water by the Mass Ave Bridge.
In the last 500, the Black and White held off Yale's final sprint without losing a single seat, crossing the finish line nine seconds ahead of the flagging Elis.
The shocking win over Yale should shake up the the Eastern Association at Western Rowing College's rankings and help the Black and White in the seeding for the heats of the Eastern Sprints. As of last week, Yale was ranked fourth, three spots ahead of Radcliffe.
Until this race, the heavies' season had been a frustrating series of disappointments. Radcliffe tailed to quality for the fund in the Nan Dwen Crew Clush and led to both Princeton and Dartmouth.
"One win can't counteract three losses, but I thing we'll for sprints," said Hale "It will take gradual steps"
The first step has been taken with an impressive victors. The Black and White confronts third ranked Brown and Northeastern this Saturday on the Charles.
"Brown will be tougher than Yale." Coach Hansen said "Northeastern is an up and coming crew their underdog mentalits can be dangerous."
Saturday, the Radcliffe TV crew had a difficult race and tell to Yale by more than a boatlength.
After three successive wins, the first boat novies lost a heartbreaking race to the Eli's by two tenths of a second. The Radcliffe novices deminated until the final sprint when Yale bately ahead of the Black and Winte.