The big one. The end all be all. The Omega. The Dad Vail Regatta.
We came out expecting the worst, with practice cancelled on Thursday due to flooding and rampant debris, with the course having washed away the day before, with two days of thunderstorms in the forecast, and with the institution of 1500 meter time trials on Friday to semifinals and finals rather than the scheduled 2000 meter heats. But no.
In fact, it turned out to be an amazingly, gloriously, supercalifragilistically good time! The weather was fantastic. William and Mary Rowing fans were out in in force to cheer on the team. Best of all, the team rowed hard and well, and had a great time.
The Novice Women did well against a field of mostly varsity teams in the NW8+ event, placing 28th and edging out rival club team Penn State (among others).
The Novice Men also did a commendable job, placing 32nd in the NM4+ and beating varsity teams such as Dowling and Johns Hopkins.
The Varsity Men also did a very, very, very good job, earning a program best 7th place (for a men’s eight at Dad Vails) in the VML8+, getting edged out by less than 4 seconds for the Grand Finals, but beating some very fast crews, such as perennial club powerhouse Purdue.
Then there were the Varsity Women. What happens when a squad earns William and Mary’s first medal at the Head of the Charles in the fall, but loses two members of the boat to graduation and outside commitments that December? They get together, take a deep breath, work their tails off as a squad, and then go on to earn William and Mary Rowing’s first women’s medal at Dad Vails that spring! (and only second in school history!) Congratulations on your Bronze Medal in the VW4+ ladies!!! You earned it!