The Radcliffe crew faces a stiff challenge today as it launches its season in Worcester against boats from Vesper. Williams and Connecticut College.
The 'Cliffe rowers will be facing the cream of the crop in women's racing. Vesper is defending national champion in women's division crew.
Practices this week have been fast and smooth for the Radcliffe boat. According to co-captain Martha McDaniel, in yesterday's workout the 'Cliffe rowers authored the fastest time for a "bridge piece" in Radcliffe rowing history.
The varsity boat shapes up with co-captains Charlotte Crane and McDaniel holding down the stroke and seven position, respectively. Dorothy Horns will row six. Julie Meck will hold down the five spot with Sarah Wood at four, Debbie Weil, at three, Judy Levine at two, and Cathy Barbash in the bow position, round out the boat.
The seat racing procedure that has occupied the 'Cliffe rowers for the last two weeks has heightened competitiveness in the boat, priming Radcliffe for the upcoming season. The boats have been working on speed and overall smoothness, concentrating primarily on working together as a unit.
Radcliffe, which finished seat-racing last Saturday, will be rowing in a strange boat today, although they will be using their own oars. However, despite the obvious disadvantages to be found in such a situation. McDaniel feels that the boat will do well against Vesper.
"Vesper is a completely unknown quantity to us." McDaniel said yesterday. "We don't know how many people they have back from last year. Regardless of that, though. I feel we have a good chance to beat them."
The 'Cliffe boat has been training since September. They have been on the water this spring since two weeks before Easter and stayed in Cambridge throughout the break to train.