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No. 2 Brown Bests Radcliffe Heavies

Lightweights fare better, crush Wellesley on Charles

By David Weinfeld, Crimson Staff Writer

Miserable weather spoiled the Radcliffe heavyweight crew’s afternoon at Brown on Saturday, but smooth sailing marked the Radcliffe lightweights’ weekend victory over the Wellesley heavyweights on the Charles River.

Weather conditions were exceptionally poor at Brown, frustrating the heavyweights in their meeting with the No. 2 Bears.

“The wind was going in one direction and the water was going in the other,” sophomore second varsity oarsman Sara Clark said. “They almost cancelled the race, and then we ended up racing during the worst water.”

The tenth-ranked varsity boat proved ill-equipped in combatting the harsh weather, finishing in 6:38.7—eight seconds behind Brown.

“We went off at about 40 strokes per minute, and we were up two seats thirty strokes in,” captain Michelle Guerette said. “When we shifted down, we didn’t do it together.”

At 500 meters, Brown advanced nearly a boat length. Through the middle thousand meters Radcliffe moved back two seats, but with 500 meters to go the Bears pulled away.

“We just spun our wheels in the middle,” Guerette said. “They were getting their blades to the water more consistently.”

The second varsity boat fared little better, finishing in 7:10.7, seven seconds after Brown.

The two boats were even after 400 meters, but then Radcliffe fell behind.

“We usually start at 38 strokes per minute and then settle in at 34 for the body of the race,” Clark said. “In this race, we never got our rate up. We were probably about four beats behind them [per minute]. That means they rowed forty more strokes than we did in the race.”

The ninth-ranked lightweights, for their part, had much better conditions rowing on the Charles River.

Facing the Wellesley heavies, the Black and White defeated both the Blue’s varsity and second varsity boats handily.

“It was an aggressive race, not particularly brilliant, but enough to beat them this week,” sophomore stroke Laura Spence said. “We led the first varsity boat off the start and pulled away in the sprint. We were roughly bow to stern [with them] for most of the race. I don’t think the [second varsity boat] finished the race. I don’t know because we were too far ahead.”

The second varsity Wellesley boat did finish, in 7:49.4. The first varsity finished in 7:29.4, eight seconds behind Radcliffe’s winning time of 7:21.6.

The lightweight victory was a big morale booster heading into this weekend’s Kencht Cup race in New Jersey.

The heavyweights, for their part, learned an important lesson at Brown.

“Conditions were rough, but it’s nothing we couldn’t have handled,” Guerette said. “What we saw on Saturday was not them being faster but us not racing to our potential. We made some significant mistakes. We need to be able to set a stable rhythm. Whether [we’re in] bad water or [up against] a highly ranked team, we have to be able do our thing, in our boat.”

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