Last Sunday, the Williams 1V crew arrived on site in Princeton, N.J., for the Princeton 3-Mile Chase. The race is similar in length to the crew’s last regatta, the Head of the Charles, but quite different in course. The Princeton Chase begins with a 2000-meter-long straightaway, goes into a turn, then straightens back out, finishing right in front of the Princeton boathouse. The crew began the race at bow number 14.
Among the regattas at which the men race, this one presents a different challenge to the men: many Div. I schools show up at the site to compete. Among them are Princeton, Boston University, Yale and the University of California at Berkeley. Some ex-ECAC programs such as George Washington University and Georgetown also make appearances.
The men fought hard off of the start, settling into a sustainable rhythm for the longest straight stretch of the race, trying to maximize their speed for the most significant part of the race. Around the turn, the crew focused on maintaining its rhythm – around turns is when it is most difficult to go fast, so the priority was on keeping a steady, powerful cadence. As the turn straightened out into the last stretch, the crew began building speed and pressure into the last 800 meters of the race through the finish. The Williams 1V boat placed 26th, less than a second behind the Syracuse 2V and less than a second ahead of the University of Pennsylvania 2V.
The team is not thrilled by its performance but looks eagerly ahead to the spring season. “The result at the Chase was disappointing entirely because we did not execute our race plan and spent a great deal of the race trying to get into what we know to be our fast rhythm,” Interim Head Coach Colin Regan said. “In this instance, we are racing some of the fastest crews in the country, so if we do not execute well, it is going to be very hard to be satisfied with the result. No different than turnovers in a basketball game. We have got to control the controllable. It is a reminder that if we want to be among the best, we have to be at our best.”
“By having been willing to put ourselves on this stage at this point in the year, we earned an early opportunity to learn what we may have otherwise not been able to learn in a safer racing environment,” Regan continued.
Having wrapped up the fall season, the men look forward to developing their fitness and top-end speed for an exciting and competitive spring. The men return to action in the spring.