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Rowers Prepare for Challenging Winter Season

 

With their competitive spring season and the New England Interscholastic Rowing Association Championship fast approaching, the members of Choate Crew have taken to the various ancient boats hanging in the rafters of the Student Activities Center to begin their training for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Unlike the fall season, since conditions at home are essentially the same as those at their Guilford boathouse, the boys skip the usual drive to the lake, opting instead to remain on the humble bodies of water across campus for all of their weekly practices. Their schedule, however, remains the same: four days of in-boat rowing, and one in the dimly lit ergometer room beneath the Winter Ex.

“It’s basically just an extension of the fall season,” said Ross Moseley ’17, a three-year member of the team. “The only difference is now we get to look huge on campus.”

Because the lake on which they usually row is often frozen and inaccessible throughout the winter months, the boys take advantage of the bodies of water that exist on campus. Practice is usually held in one of three locations: Gunpowder Creek, the ponds outside the Science Center, or the stream intersecting the cross-country trail.  Occasionally, the boys will forgo liquid bodies of water altogether, opting instead to simply row through the snow that usually covers the football field.

These courses are also used to host winter rowing events, the most prestigious of which is the one held at Gunpowder Creek. With various other rowing schools invited, including the entire Founders’ League, the 750-meter event is one of the most difficult of the rowing year.

“It’s a coxswain’s worst nightmare,” said Martin London ’17. “That’s why the event is so infamous: you’ll usually see at least thirteen boats crash by the end of the day if they’re not careful. It’s hard enough getting under the bridge at practice pressure, let alone when the whole boat is sprinting.”

There is one concern, however, about the current winter season. In light of recent weather patterns—namely the abnormally high temperatures of this winter—a vital piece of the team’s weekly regimen may be missing this year: snow. Speculation about global warming and climate change aside, the reality remains that the boys simply cannot row through snow that does not exist.

“Personally, I’m not too mad about it,” said Tristan Jamidar ’18. “I always hated snow practice days.  No matter how much pressure you put in, the boat still ends up going pretty slowly—which usually means whoever’s in stroke seat starts jacking up the rating. I’m perfectly fine with cutting it out.”

Said Alex Overmeer ’17, “Snow days are swole days. I’m pretty upset.”

At press time, members of the team, wearing neon spandex contrasting with their bleak surroundings, were seen shivering as they headed back from another successful day of practice.