"Be prepared" the Boy Scouts say.
Too bad it's not the Girl Scouts' motto, because unpreparedness is precisely what killed the Radcliffe heavyweight crew team's chances this weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay in San Diego.
The Black and White was't armed with enough rowing experience to battle the powerful crews competing in the prestigious regatta, which kicks off the Radcliffe season.
"We are a brand new boat. We've only been rowing together for a week and our inexperience really showed," explained Co-Captain Jenny Hale.
A mere three-tenths of a second kept the heavies out of the finals. In the last 300 meters of the 1500-meter qualifying race. Radcliffe gained half a seat on UCLA, putting them in third place and within reach of the finals.
The UCIA oarswomen, however, rowed solidly down the stretch and edged out the Black and White for the last qualifying spot. "It was a disappointing race. We never sprinted and UCIA pulled away," said sophomore Alison Townley.
The Black and White went on to win the petite finals, deleating the University of San Diego and Oregon State by a boat length of open water.
The University of San Diego and Oregon State by a boat length of open water.
The University of Victoria crew, boasting four Canadian national team members, won the finals as expected. Victoria defeated last year's national champions--Washington, and one of the strongest crews in the east--Wisconsin.
The Radcliffe heavies placed second in the nationals last year behind the Washington, the most powerful women's crew in the country.
Although the Black and White's first race of the spring was a disappointment, the experience has alerted the team to us weaknesses before its official season begins.
Townley explains, "This is definitely the toughest competition. We have to be ready for the Ivy races, so we have some things to work on."
This Saturday the women traveled to against Princeton. Because of the Radelife crew's endurance, it hopes to benefit from the new 2000-meter course length, increased 500 meter since last season.