|Crew - Boys Varsity Founder's Day|
|Date:||May 4, 2014|
Event Recap:The boys' crew team loaded the trailer and headed south to Lake Waramaug for the 55th annual Founders Day Regatta on Sunday. The event traditionally presents a chance for Berkshire crews to face off against some of the fastest crews in the nation. Among the competition this year were Cincinnati Junior Rowing Club (7th in the nation last year), Kent, and Choate. Knowing the competition would be tough, each Berkshire boat looked to put together its best race of the season and let the cards fall as they may. In the fourth boat race the Bears had a tough draw, facing Kent, Salisbury and Choate. The lineup of Will MacClarence, Jake McLanahan, Will Dyer-Kloman, Jake Elowtiz and coxswain Xander Amero put together an excellent first 1000 meters of the 1500 meter race. They found themselves even with Choate, perennially one of the fastest crews in the fours division in which Berkshire races, as both crews wound up the rating to secure the last spot in the afternoon final. Choate showed a bit more poise in the closing minute of the race and pulled out a four second win over the Bears. In the controversial third boat race, Berkshire finished 10 seconds back of Cincinnati Junior Rowing in 2nd place, and in apparent position to make the afternoon third boat grand final, a first in Berkshire crew history. However, there had been an incident unrelated to Berkshire's boat far up the course. Because of interference caused by an motorboat, the officials deemed a different crew the official 2nd place finisher, even though that crew did not finish the race. Breaking with all precedent and established rules of rowing, the race officials excluded Berkshire from the final in favor of the crew that had suffered interference. Despite the clear injustice done to them, the boys in Berkshire's third boat demonstrated a high level of restraint by keeping their discontent to themselves. A newly motivated third boat will go into its next race with something to prove. The lower boats all had one-off finals in the middle of the race day. Berkshire flexed its muscles that have been built through its increased size and depth and took 2nd in two and 3rd in one of the dramatic novice finals. All of those rowers will compete again on Wednesday against Rumsey Hall. The second boat heat found Berkshire comfortably qualifying for the afternoon petite final and looking to improve upon the sprint portion of the race. The scrappy boat of stroke Alex Dechellis, James Donovan, Peter Dunn, Eric Smith and coxswain Ben Lang put together a much more complete race in increasingly difficult conditions in the afternoon but got nipped at the line by a crew that placed in the grand finals of New Englands last year in Lyme/Old Lyme. In the fastest level of racing of the day, the boys' first boat could not put together their best race in their heat but managed to scrape their way into the petite final, looking to redeem their morning row with an improved afternoon race. With a slightly modified race plan, the Bears hit the water with the intention of racing well. And race well they did. The Bears stayed conservative off the line as other crews flailed in the gusting high winds. As the race wore on, Berkshire first boat hung around the lead pack, biding their time. As the race came into the last 500 meters, the boys in green and grey kicked it into gear and started eating away at Brunswick's open water lead. As the race came towards the finish line cheers went up all along the shore as each school in the lead pack thought their boat had the edge. Despite their closing charge, in a tight three-way finish Berkshire came up just short, placing 3rd, only 1.2 seconds out of 1st. Coach Olson was pleased with the immense improvement in execution from the morning to the afternoon and the crew themselves were pleased to have shown some speed, beating fast crews from Salisbury and Northfield Mount Hermon. The next time the whole squad will be racing will be Saturday against Dexter.