Sometimes the wind just does not blow your way. This can be a harsh reality for rowing when weather conditions are not in your favor.
“We spoke about the climates after our regatta,” head coach Keith Jefferson said. “Obviously, some of us were devastated about it, but it is out of our control.”
The wind played a significant factor when Seattle Pacific crew traveled to Lowell, Ore., to race in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Championships (NCRC) on Dexter Lake over the weekend. Although the Falcons raced in nine different events, their best finishes came in the women’s novice four and the men’s lightweight four, where they both finished in second place.
Races stretched from 8 a.m. to one in the afternoon and as the day carried on, the conditions stopped working in everyone’s favor. Only the cream of the crop came out on top.
The men’s varsity four event was one of the last events and they did their best to not let the conditions affect them. Although they came in third place out of five teams, they know that they had accomplished.
“The wind really affected the last 250 meters, which is the sprint zone,” Jefferson said. “I thought our men’s varsity four still did a great job of rowing cleanly and I’m really proud of their efforts.”
The men’s varsity four squad started off with three straight first place finishes in their first three regattas. The best they have done since then is second place, but that has more to do with their competition than it does their performance.
The squad started off the year with some easier opponents and have really been tested that past couple of weeks. On paper it looks like they are struggling, but they have actually been improving.
The men’s lightweight four managed a second place finish in their race as they concluded their season. Most of the SPU squads are now done for the year, as only a select few can continue on to other championship races.
One squad that struggled in their race was the men’s novice four. They came in fifth place out of six teams, but they were happy with that result.
“Even though we came in fifth place, we were all really tired at that point,” sophomore novice member Jonah Severn said. “We put our hearts in to it so I think it went well despite our poor placement.”
With so many events, many members had to row in two or three different events. The novice event was later in the day, after many other races had already been held.
The women’s varsity four squad struggled heavily in their event as they came in last during their race. But with an injury, a change in the lineup and bad weather conditions, they take that with a grain of salt.
“The women’s varsity four was without Baylee [O’Camb] and the crosswind really threw them off,” Jefferson said. “They held it together as best they could, but not a lot of things were working in their favor and they got a little wrecked.”
A bright spot for the Falcons was the women’s novice four squad.
They were able to manage a second place finish and gave a brief glimpse of the potential that this team has in the future.
If the women’s varsity eight squad can stay healthy, they will be rowing in Oklahoma City in two weeks. If the competition were not so fierce, the men’s varsity four squad could have been heading to the Dad Vail Regatta this weekend in Philadelphia.
“Although our squad is faster than it was last year, so is everyone else,” Jefferson said. “We are competing against bigger rosters, in terms of physical size and numbers, so it’s tough for me to reason us flying all the way out there.”
Most of crew wrapped up their season this past weekend, but they are anxious to see how much they can start trimming off their times for next year.