The regatta season got started this year for William and Mary Rowing under gorgeous skies and great water in nearby Falls Lake, North Carolina. The regatta consisted of collegiate, masters, and high school rowers, and the course was a little over 4 kilometers long, and featured a light head wind which gradually increased throughout the day.
The varsity men, boasting its largest squad ever, of three and a half eights, was excited to get down to fall racing against Duke and NC State, as well as perennial club powerhouse the University of North Carolina. The squad represented itself well, soundly defeating the 4+s from Duke and NC State, and though the guys were dissapointed they didn’t edge out UNC’s heavyweight eight for the first time in W&M Rowing history, everyone was excited to have raced and performed well. Considering W&M’s A and B boats finished within 10 seconds of the gold medal winning UNC heavyweight 8+ bodes well for our squad’s depth, and everyone is excited to continue training, with an eye towards a rematch with UNC at the Head of the Charles.
The varsity women also came into the season boasting one of its largest squads ever, rowing over two eights under the watchful eye of new coach Travis Hall. Though the ladies didn’t have as much competition to look forward to at this race as the men, they were able to focus on the competition they had, and performed quite well. The squad went undefeated against other collegiate competition, besting two 4+s from NC State. In the 8+ event, the varsity women had a hard fought battle against a fast UNC Masters crew, getting edged out for first by only 3 seconds. The ladies look forward to racing some fast college crews at the Occoquan Challenge next weekend.