Though the winds blew Monday's storm away, the Radcliffe women's crew team failed to blow away the competition yesterday morning when it lost to Boston University. The women in black finished an extremely tight race 1.3 seconds--about four seats--behind the Terriers.
Radcliffe went into the race knowing that B.U. would be among the toughest competition it would face this season. The women used the extra practice time they had last week due to the delayed race date to perfect boat unity and speed.
"We've been improving a lot over the last week and a half," Coxswain Maye Chen said. "During practices we concentrated on swinging together and accelerating at the finish and we really picked up some speed."
Unfortunately, without much actual boat-on-boat race experience, the women could not perform up to standards under race pressure.
"We just weren't accustomed to having a boat right next to us," Chen said, "and it made us nervous throughout the race. We just never settled into a rhythm."
Radcliffe came out of the start strong, leading BU by three seats for the first 500 meters. But the Terriers made a move in the second 500, and Radcliffe lost ground which it was never able to make up.
Radcliffe's second loss of the season--the crew also lost an early-season race to Princeton--marked the end of its regular season. At the Eastern Sprints in two weeks, the crew will get a second chance to prove itself against both B.U. and Princeton.
"The race just reminded us that we have a lot of work to do in practice," Chen said. "Hopefully we'll get the chance to have a few practice races before Easterns, maybe against Boston Rowing Club. With that kind of experience we'll have a good chance for revenge."
The second varsity boat finished its season with a splashy win over the second B.U. boat. Despite a furious headwind which made the race longer than usual, the women in black managed to swing hard and take their opponents by one-and-a-half boat lengths.
"It was horrible," stroke Rachel Lerner said. "But we managed to stay ahead the whole way. We kept expecting them to creep up on us but they just never made a challenge.
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