Fall crew began as a burst of inspiration last spring while I was rowing three seat on Tabor’s first varsity boat. We were cruising through the season, doing well, but something shifted for me when we finished second during our Andover/Exeter race. Putting our speed to the test and crossing the finish line just seconds before Andover had made me so excited about rowing. Those critical seconds increased my motivation, and that of my teammates, to see what might be possible if we put some extra time and effort into it. I decided to speak to our Athletic Director to ask for consideration for a fall student-run effort in hopes of competing in the Head of the Charles Regatta, as some of our sister schools do.
With the proposal accepted, it was time to start planning. Four of my teammates and I created uniforms for our boat and set the practice schedule for each week. We thought the boat itself would be a major obstacle for the program, as Tabor usually rows eights in the spring to accommodate our numbers; however we were fortunate to find support for a new 4/+ boat through Tabor and the generosity of Liam McClennon, father of our teammate Sam McClennon ’17. We finished our preparation by sending in an application to the Head of the Charles, one of the world’s most famous rowing events with over three thousand applicants. We were overjoyed to hear we had been accepted.
Finally, with all of us back at Tabor this fall, it was time to put in the real physical work. Everyday, my teammates and I organize practice in the Crew Alumni Tank Center, donated a few years ago by our alumni, putting in enormous effort on the ergs. While we have days of more relaxed distance workouts, we try to always take two days out of the week to test our strength and endurance, making sure it is always following an upward trend. Although the erg is second nature to us, we do take two days out of our week to go out on the water with our coaches (Noel Pardo, Frank Townsend or Wiley Wakeman ’68) at 6:00am to get the real feel of the boat. The more we go out, the greater the improvement! We are really excited for the real test: The Head of the Charles!
I am proud of the dedicated work and progress I have seen in the crew the past couple of months of this program. None of us would have ever thought that we would have the opportunity to race in the Head of the Charles, and we are very much devoted to the preparation in hopes of being strong competitors in the race. It is a great experience for each of us that we won’t soon forget to represent Tabor in this event.
We hope to have many alumni, parents, and friends along the banks of the Charles supporting us, as well as the Tabor girls’ eight competing, on Sunday, October 23rd. Join the Tabor fans to cheer us on along with the crew alumni who are participating in the race at our Tabor tent in the Reunion Village.
The start times for each event (Youth Men’s Fours and Youth Women’s Eights) are subject to change and are posted at http://www.hocr.org.