On Saturday morning, the men’s first varsity boat soundly defeated rival Bates to win the Onota Cup. The men managed a 2.2 second victory and a time very close to the course record to secure the win. As a team, Bates posed a largely unknown threat to Williams, but the Ephs ably proved themselves on their home course.
Lake Onota, the Ephs’ home course, had phenomenal conditions earlier that morning. The men are used to a strong chop on the lake, but on Saturday the water was still and the wind was almost nonexistent.
“We put together something more like a complete race, and we’re excited to put together what we’ve learned in our Championship next week,” co-captain Andy Ward ’09 said.
Six-seat Cameron Skinner ’10 spoke about the victory. “We were sloppy off the start; Bates led us through the 500, but we regained our rhythm into the 1000 meter mark. Bates gave us a great race, we pushed it for the entire time,” Skinner said.
“Bates was a good crew, it took an aggressive second 1000 meters to move out on them,” said Head Coach Ben Lewis.
The team’s other boats also fared well during the regatta. The second varsity squad competed in a spirited race and beat Ithaca, Bates and Marist, losing only to Coast Guard by 4.5 seconds. “We started off quickly and built to a one-length lead over Marist, but Coast Guard had a faster rhythm. We were happy with the results though,” said second varsity bow seat Dan Costanza ’11.
The first-year boat fell to Marist by 8.5 seconds, but managed a half-second victory over Coast guard. The crew also beat Ithaca’s A and B boats.
The Ephs also enjoyed an excellent turnout for their last home regatta of the season. At the awards ceremony, three members of the Class of 2008 presented the newly won Onota Cup. Peter Clements ’08, McLane Daniel ’08 and Ben Byrne ’08 handed the trophy to co-captains Rob Buesing ’09 and Ward of the first varsity boat.
That evening at the parents’ dinner, John A. Shaw ’62 also made a meaningful appearance; Shaw taught history at the College and founded the men’s crew team. He financed the program with his own capital and fought for recognition in the administration. The team’s boathouse and one of its shells are also named after him. During the meeting, he also donated a new trophy to the women’s team.
Next week the Ephs will face all of their rivals at the New England Championships in Worcester, Mass. The first varsity boat will spar with the Trinity squad for the title. The second varsity team hopes to medal in its event, and the third varsity squad will have similar aspirations.