Update as of 14 November 2016
Since the last update, we have purchased a WinTech Medalist heavyweight men’s 8+ and a Vespoli heavyweight men’s 4+. Both boats are used, but in very good condition. The Wintech 8+ was formally named/christened in honor of UMW rower Robert Ericson in a ceremony at Hope Springs Marina at noon on Saturday, 12 November 2016. You can read more about Robert Ericson in the “Remembrances” part of our web site.
We have had a few novice members decide that rowing takes too much time from their studies. As a result, we are now at 40 men and women on the team, which is roughly where we were last year. Other rowers feel that we need to row at least four times per week during spring semester, so this will be a significant focus for the upcoming months – putting together a plan to incorporate more rowing per week, but still maintain adequate coaching of the crews on the water. We will start to develop a more formal approach to drills, with purpose of each drill, what to look for, and aids for coxswains so that some of the drills could be run by the coxswains without as much observation required by coaches. Transportation to/from practices will also need to be addressed, as more rowing will require more use of personally owned vehicles. I may also look for one additional volunteer assistant coach, but the quality of coaching is far more important than just the number of coaches.
Our head race season has all but ended, with especially good results from the men’s varsity 8+ and two men’s varsity 4+ boats at the Head of the Schuylkill and Head of the Occoquan (HOTO) regattas. At the Head of the Schuylkill, some of the boats ran into a significant number of leaves in the water part way through the course, and these tended to collect on the fins of the boat, adding significant extra drag and adversely affecting the ability of the coxswain to properly steer the boat. Both novice 4+ boats and the first men’s 4+ boats were noticeably affected. At the Head of the Occoquan, the water had significantly fewer leaves, and there was a slight tailwind during part of the course. The men’s varsity 8+, first varsity 4+, and second varsity 4+ boats all achieved 100% efficiency ratings, meaning they covered the distance in the time predicted by their weight-adjusted erg scores and indicating very efficient bladework by the crews. The men’s varsity 8+ placed 14th out of 31 crews at HOTO, losing to the 13th place crew from Virginia Tech by just 6 seconds. Of the Division III schools entered, UMW placed second behind Marietta, and placed ahead of crews from Franklin & Marshall, New York Maritime, St Mary’s College of Maryland, and Carnegie Mellon. The first men’s 4+ placed 10th out of 32 crews, while the second men’s 4+ just missed a top half showing, finishing in 18th place.
Rowing shells and equipment will be returned to the UMW Physical Plant for winter storage on Saturday, 19 November 2016. Once again, we give our heartfelt thanks to Jimmy Franklin and the Hope Springs Marina for supporting us with the rowing venue.