After a tough start to the season at the Head of Charles Regatta, the men’s heavyweight team bounced back to take a number of top-10 finishes at the team's home event. The Quakers entered a total of seven boats: three in the Championship Fours, two in the Championship Eights, and two in the Club Championship Eights.
The Quakers’ B boat in the championship fours were able to finish an impressive fifth.
“I think the [Champ Eights] had hoped to do a little bit better," coach Bryan Volpenhein said. "They're up against some tough teams, so I think it’s good for them to sort of get out there and race, and see where they are.”
It has been a while since the heavyweights have had a normal season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Volpenhein emphasized that his team is very young, with over half the team being underclassmen. Key aspects of rowing in general are team chemistry and communication.
“You hope the learning curve is steep, but I think coming back together for the first time after so long, they’re figuring out how to talk to each other in the boat, and how to be leaders,” Volpenhein said.
Overall, the results were much better than their first event. Six of the boats finished within the top-10 finishes in their respective events.
Boat A in the Championship Fours finished 10th, Boat B finished fifth, and Boat C finished 18th. There was another top-5 finish in the Championship Eights division with Boat A finishing fourth and Boat B finishing ninth. In the Club Championship Eights, Boats A and B finished eighth and 10th respectively.
Throughout the event, it seemed like Dartmouth was the team to beat as they were consistently ahead of the Quakers, often in the top five. The key to improvement according to Volpenhein will be improving both technical skills and chemistry.
“I am very excited about the future of this team. The guys are very engaged, they're working hard, and they want to be very good," Volpenhein said. "That’s hard to teach.”
The Quakers will compete at the Princeton Chase next weekend, which will be the team's final event of the fall season.