Concord Crew makes a big splash


Concord Crew took first place in seven of eleven races

Spring crew season tends to start slowly. Rowers don layers of clothing before practicing in snow. Boats remain on racks in the boathouse while the team watches ice float down the river.
But Concord Crew didn’t sit idly by. The commitment athletes showed by running up and down hills, erging and doing ab workouts paid off on Saturday, April 12,, when the team got on water for the first time and came home champions.
Competitors Greater Lawrence Rowing, Westford Littleton Community Rowing and Duxbury Bay Maritime had each gotten time to practice on the river before race day.
Concord Crew, facing a broken dock at its boathouse on the Merrimack, was not so fortunate, and anxiety and nerves were evident as athletes unloaded and prepared their boats to race, knowing they were starting at a disadvantage.
Rowers complained about waking up at 5 a.m. to be at the race venue in Lawrence, Massachusetts, by 6:30 a.m. (Coxswains needed to arrive by 6 a.m.) Then, when the start of the regatta was postponed an hour, more complaints were heard.
First boats did not take to the 1500 meter race course until 8:30 a.m.
The girls in the Concord Crew’s top boat, the Women’s First Varsity 4, carried their boat down to the dock calm and focused. They had each raced in numerous spring races and understood their task of rowing their best regardless of the circumstances.
“I have to go teach Megan about spring races,” said senior rower Hannah Lundgren, approaching a novice coxswain.
Boat after boat, Concord athletes left the dock after racing with smiles and blisters.
“Go find a coxswain. They all have bandaids and antibiotics,” team captain Audrey Ardinger advised.
While many complained about their blisters, others saw them as a symbol of a new season and proof that they had raced hard and well.
Although no medals were awarded on Saturday, Concord Crew athletes placed first in seven of eleven events, leaving everybody excited about the upcoming season.
“We had what I consider to be great success on Saturday, without any water time at all,” Jay Printzlau, the head coach reflected. “It really does come down to fitness, doesn’t it?”