The racing last weekend against Michigan was tough and exciting across a few dimensions. Certainly the battles between the 1st Varsity crews and the 1st Freshman crews highlighted the racing, but the real battle was versus mother nature. The original schedule was compressed into a furious bout of morning racing with both men’s and women’s races alternating before the real “bad” weather kicked in.
The men’s racing began at 8:30am in a 20+ mph crosswind and a strong head current due to recent rains. All the racing starts were done very quickly due to the severe and difficult conditions. The first attempt to run the race was stopped when Michigan didn’t accept the start and the crews swung around to try it again. In the second start Michigan got off cleanly but it was the Bison who were negatively effected by a strong gust of wind and missed stroke. After the starting sequence was over we found ourselves down almost a full length. The guys were able to rally and find their form and the race was on. Michigan and Bucknell traded blows the whole way down the course and in the end the margin Michigan gained off the start was just too much to overcome. They finished 6 seats up on the guys and won the race with a 2.65 second advantage. The Michigan athletes and coaches were classy victors and we look forward to racing them again in the ECAC and ACRA championships.
In the freshman 8 race it was the Michigan 2F that was ready to shock the world as they popped out to an early lead off the start, but very quickly the Bison found their traction and took control of the race. Freshman racing in bad conditions can often lead to some exciting near misses and for those of us watching the steering and the management of the conditions by the rowers it did not fail to disappoint! The referee following the race was able to get it all sorted out without incident and in the 2nd half of the race Bucknell’s 1F and the Michigan 1F started to lock into a fierce race to reach the finish line first. In the end our young guns raced tough and held on for a 4 seat win over a game Michigan crew. Congratulations of the Bucknell freshman on another fine win.
In the rest of the races this morning the Michigan program showed the quality of its depth in taking down our 2V, V4, and a throw-together lightweight 8. Afterwards we enjoyed a bbq under the tent and boathouse in monsoon conditions as the rain arrived to add another “fun” dimension to the weather. Our parents are forever and in all ways awesome! They executed a flawless bbq and we had a very nice post race ceremony to recognize the race winners and exchange shirts as is tradition.
To all our alumni that came out – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! It’s incredibly meaningful to all of us to have some many former oarsman lining the shores and cheering the current team on towards success. This weekend we are in Worcester, MA for our annual duel with Holly Cross. Racing will start at 9:20am. We hope to see all our North-East friends, family, and alumni at the race and if you can’t make it be sure to follow the twitter feed.
Also, if you haven’t already go check out the new website www.bucknellcrew.org. Wow!