Princeton Lightweight Women vs. Radcliffe

A confession: I planned to catch up on posts as soon as I turned my thesis in, but alas, it's been three weeks and no posts in sight. That does not, however, mean, that there aren't some very exciting things going on.

 Megan Mirabella '18 coxes the Lightweight Women's 1V in their race against Radcliffe

Megan Mirabella '18 coxes the Lightweight Women's 1V in their race against Radcliffe

Last weekend, I travelled up to Boston with the rest of the lightweight women in prep for our race against Radcliffe. (That's Harvard's women's team for those of you who aren't in the know!) I always forget how far Boston is from Princeton - almost 6 hours on the bus! -  but happily upon my arrival I was able to have a lovely visit with a family friend. The next morning, I met up with the team at the Radcliffe women's Weld Boathouse, ready to hit the river. The Charles is a notoriously hard course to row on; there aren't buoys to guide you, and spring season 2ks are raced in the Basin, which is much less sheltered than the Head of the Charles course further down the river. 

 The Lightweight Women's 1V races on the Charles River

The Lightweight Women's 1V races on the Charles River

It was a relatively nice day as far as days on the Charles go: a light tail wind, and warm enough to go without gloves on the launch. First up were the 1V, racing for the class of 1999 cup. The Tigers got ahead at the start and stayed there, pulling through 1.5 seconds ahead of the top-ranked Radcliffe crew. Those 6 minutes and 32 seconds were hands down the most exciting that I've ever spent on a launch. It's been a few years since we've won this particular race, and so it was a huge thrill to have front row seats to the victory, and to see the year's hard work start to pay off.

 The Lightweight Women's 2V races Radcliffe 

The Lightweight Women's 2V races Radcliffe 

The 2V also put up a good fight, falling to Radcliffe by just over eight seconds. The 3V race, though, was when things got really eventful.

 Katie Mirabella '17 waits for the 3V races to be restarted

Katie Mirabella '17 waits for the 3V races to be restarted

The two crews were relatively even for the first 500m, at which point Radcliffe slowed to a dead stop and Princeton surged ahead. Watching from afar, we quickly realized that one of Radcliffe's novices had caught an over the head crab that pushed her head through her rigger into the river, the force of which meant that her foot stretchers got ripped off.

 The Princeton 3V races a 1000m piece against Radcliffe

The Princeton 3V races a 1000m piece against Radcliffe

 However, the official didn't catch the attention of the Princeton crew until they had rowed another 800m, making a restart a painful prospect. The two coaches resolved to have their crews race an additional 1000m piece instead. This time, Radcliffe pulled ahead to come out on top.

 Coach Paul Rassam congratulates senior co-captains Becky Kreutter '15 and Julia Wendt '15

Coach Paul Rassam congratulates senior co-captains Becky Kreutter '15 and Julia Wendt '15

Overall, it was a really positive day for the lightweight women's program, and an exciting one for us spectators. I especially love this last photo of head coach Paul Rassam with my fellow seniors, co-captains Becky and Julia, because it really captures the excitement we all felt post-race. Anyone who's ever rowed knows that training for the spring season is a lot of hard, indoor, thankless work, and staying motivated can be difficult when it's snowing outside, you have an absurd amount of classwork and it's another tough workout on the menu. It's always awesome to see all of that hard work pay off.