During the first weekend of competition, the Radcliffe women’s first varsity heavyweight crew found lucky number seven helpful en route to an early 3-0 mark in spring dual races.
For the seventh consecutive year, the Black and White earned the Rowlands Cup after handily dispelling river rivals Northeastern and Boston College on March 26.
With the opponent different and the site the same, No. 7 Radcliffe beat No. 4 Brown on its home course Friday. The Bears, the 2004 national champions, finished a full boatlength behind the victorious Radcliffe first crew.
RADCLIFFE VS. BROWN
In Friday’s dual race against the No. 4 Bears, only one boat outlasted Brown, but the women’s first varsity crew had been waiting to do so for quite some time.
“This was the first time I’ve beaten Brown in a dual race,” said captain and two-seat Heather Schofield. “We were very excited for this race since so many of us we had faced off against Brown and never won those dual races.”
Their victory came a day earlier than scheduled, as the race was moved from Saturday to Friday in anticipation of heavy weekend rains. The mild Friday conditions made for easier rowing for both squads.
“Historically, Brown-Radcliffe races have had terrible weather,” Schofield said. “I was very glad they took preemptive measures this year to make it a fair race.”
Fair and even it was—for a little while. Both boats stood near even after the race’s thirty strokes, but as both crews settled off of the quick start, the Black and White began moving through the Brown boat seat-by-seat. With 1,000 meters down, Radcliffe’s stern sat on Brown’s bow, a full boatlength ahead of its Ivy counterpart.
Though Brown made a push near the halfway mark and took back three seats, the Black and White maintained a steady lead throughout the third 500 meters. A strong final sprint secured Radcliffe the boatlength lead it had held at the midpoint, and the Black and the White crossed the line in 6:24.7. Brown finished in 6:27.5.
“We were really happy with the results in the 1V,” Schofield said. “It’s great for our confidence.”
The other Radcliffe boats could not match the first varsity’s success, with the second varsity, two varsity fours, a novice eight, and a novice four falling to the Bears on Friday. Each of the six boats, however, improved its time from the previous weekend’s victories over BC and Northeastern.
RADCLIFFE VS. BOSTON COLLEGE AND NORTHEASTERN
Aided by a swift quartering tailwind, the Black and White broke out fast against Northeastern and BC and spent all 2,000 meters widening the gap.
Though Radcliffe had spent part of the week preparing to race in a headwind, a tailwind presented itself on Saturday, and the Black and White used it to its advantage. Though the wind made for unpredictable choppy waters, it also gave Radcliffe added speed.
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