Fall rowing has been a success. The excellent weather has been an important factor as the river has been comparatively smooth at all times; the temperature moderate; and rains infrequent. Although it is difficult to determine in the autumn the quantity and quality of the material available in the spring, it is possible to accomplish much with the oarsmen who do report. Men who show individual faults are given special attention by the coaches. Practice on the indoor machines in front of the mirrors where one can see his errors and can strive to correct them under the guidance of the coaches is particularly helpful. The purpose of Fall Rowing is to practice the fundamentals and to develop form, not speed.
At the beginning of the season the University squad was made up of four crews, picked from the best material of upperclassmen. The first three went out on the river at once. For the class crews, enough men reported to give the Seniors one boat, the Juniors two, and the Sophomores four. The large number of oarsmen who reported from the class of 1923 is undoubtedly due to the fact that rowing was one of the choices under the compulsory exercise system adopted last year. At first the lack of properly qualited coxswains was a disturbing feature but later this situation improved some chat. Another drawback was the difficulty in getting the crews to report romptly at the time for which they were called.
One hundred and twenty Freshmen who had elected rowing as their autumn exercise reported at the Weld Boathouse on October 5. After Captain McCagg and the coaches had spoken, each man filled out a schedule card and the new Crew Enrollment Card. Almost immediately a tentative line-up of the first dormitory crews was made form the schedule cards while the rest of the men were assigned arbitrarily. During the following week about 20 additional men came out, bringing the total up to about one hundred and forty.
The first crews were put on the water at once while the others worked on the machines. As soon as an idea about the relative work of the inexperienced men could be gained, all the lower crews were graded. This year's system contained an innovation in that all men were started on fixed seats and kept there until they showed the necessary proficiency to use the slides.
On October 20 a brush over the upper half-mile course between the dormitory eights was held, the boats finishing in the following order:--Standish, Smith, Gore. After the race, these crews were given boats with sliding seats. The next day all the crews were given their first experience on the water and by the twenty-third the coaches had a good idea of all those who were rowing and had them all graded on suitable crews.
Annual Regatta Week of 25th
In the week of October 25 there were several races which marked the end of Fall Rowing for the regular class crews and the lower Freshman crews. On Tuesday, the second 1923 crew raced the Technology Sophomore crew over a mile course in the Basin, being beaten by three lengths. On Thursday afternoon, Coach Brown's class crews were raced against each other over the mile course. The first Sophomore crew led the first junior crew by two lengths while the second Sophomore crew defeated the second Junior crew by three-quarters of a length. The time was six minutes and seventeen seconds.
The first and second crews of each Freshman dormitory also raced. In the contest between the first eights, Smith led Standish by one-quarter of a length with a time of six minutes and one second. While Gore came in a poor third. In the race between the second crews, Gore was victorious over Standish by one length as Smith trailed in third place. Time: 6 minutes, 11 seconds.