Over fall break, the University of Rochester rowing teams took the Head of the Genesee Regatta by storm, earning numerous medals and scoping out their top competition for the rest of the season. UR competed against teams including Mercyhurst University, Ithaca College, crosstown rival Rochester Institute of Technology and others. UR competed in a number of different events. Boats raced in races ranging from the women’s Open Double—two rowers in a shell—to men’s and women’s Collegiate Eights, in which eight people row together.
Wind conditions made the course difficult, with gusts coming in at about 22 miles per hour. Debris across the Genessee from previous day’s rain made the course dangerous to row. Because of this, the regatta was held on the Erie Canal, shortening the race by about 400 meters compared to the original 4800 usually rowed. Regatta officials made the call the Friday before the race.
The last minute change did not impact the ‘Jackets performance.
“Racing this weekend was really successful for the team,” senior rower Bella Clemente said. “We saw some awesome competition and did well across the board.”
The Men’s Collegiate eight boat raced against a total of 12 teams, including RIT, who actually had two boats in the race itself. Mercyhurst grabbed both the gold and the silver medals for that event, with Ithaca coming in third. Rochester placed fifth overall in the men’s division. In the Women’s Collegiate eight, two boats were entered, with the A and B boats placing fourth and eleventh, respectively.
Mercyhurst University managed to snag the gold for this event as well, with Williams College in second and RIT A in third. The Men and Women’s Open Fours also rowed this past weekend, the Men’s four coming in thirteenth overall and the Women’s four coming in ninth, behind Ithaca by less than a second and a half, along with rowers coming off of injuries, meaning less practice time than the other boats.
The Erie Canal is very different from the usual row on the Genesee. The coxswains themselves had less steering to work on, and focused more on making sure they were passing other crews.
“It’s basically a straight line, which is so different from the normal Genesee course,” junior coxswain Crystal Hoffman said at the event. “But I loved it!”
The layout of the course meant that spectators and rowers not competing could cheer on other athletes from the beginning of the course to the finish line.
This was also the first regatta for the Novice eight boats for both the men’s and women’s squads. These teams are entirely composed of walk-ons or athletes who have never rowed before arriving at UR.
The Men’s Novice 8 also raced against rival RIT, along with SUNY Geneseo, St. John Fisher College and University of Buffalo. The boat placed third overall, only four seconds behind Case Western, with about 30 seconds trailing between them and fourth place SUNY Geneseo A.
The Women’s Novice eight A did just as well, walking RIT with about 750 meters left in the race. The boat placed second overall, trailing behind Ithaca with SUNY Geneseo A behind them by four seconds. The second Women’s eight, also composed of walk ons, placed 8th, with RIT behind them by more than 15 seconds.
UR Rowing’s next regatta will take place at the Head of the Schuylkill in Philadelphia on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Miller is a member of the class of 2019.