Crew had a disappointing day at the three-mile Princeton Chase, where the Owls entered two boats into both the men’s heavyweight 8+ and the heavyweight 4+.
Although the athletes rowed well, several misfortunes hurt Temple’s final standings.
Boat A in the 8+ race had a problem right from the start: the boat’s sound system was not working.
“We’re going to make sure we get a cox box that works,” coach Gavin White said after the race. “The sound system went dead at the start, so we had no feedback from the coxswain the whole race. That’s unusual. I mean, our coxswain, this kid’s good, and we had no way to communicate with him. The whole race we had no sound. So that hurts.”
The same boat also received a 30-second penalty for rowing out of bounds, a problem that most likely occurred because the coxswain had no contact with the crew. Boat A ended up finishing 45th out of 60 crews, representing 31 universities, while boat B was 50th.
Despite these problems, White was happy with both 8+ crews.
“Both crews rowed very well,” White said. “They weren’t flawless. They had a few problems. But it wasn’t bad. Much better than two weeks ago [at the Navy Day Regatta]. And that’s the key. You’ve got to get better every week, every day.”
Crew captain Fergal Barry also liked what he saw.
“There were some very good points,” Barry said. “We had a lot of consistency. [We are] getting a lot quicker. The standard here is a lot higher. The crews that were in our race two weeks ago, we’ve made up ground on them, so that’s a good thing. We’re getting a lot quicker, so it’s good.”
In the 4+ race, there was a little more excitement. Temple’s A boat collided with Boston University just before the finish line.
“You had five boats trying to fit into a space where only two could,” freshman coxswain Dante Romeo said. “And we had [us] and Boston University passing three boats ahead of us. So we have this little space, we’re both trying to shoot for it, and worst came to worst. It was exciting. Some words were exchanged, but it’s all in good fun. You never know what’s going to happen when you have a bunch of crews and a little tiny space. And it was like seven strokes before the finish, which is the worst part.”
No teams were penalized, but the collision hurt what was otherwise a good run.
“With the 4+ race, after the 8+ defeat, the four guys in the boat, everybody just decided to work,” said Barry, who also rowed in the 4+ A boat. “Boat felt good. It was one of the best fours I’ve been in all season. It was really moving along. A lot of aggression in it, a lot of speed.
“We pulled up on the crews in front of us, and unfortunately the crews behind us started to close in on us,” Barry added. “And then towards the end we all collided. We’re not too happy about that, but we’ll deal with it. If we hadn’t collided, I think we would have placed very well. We were really moving. We were kicking along.”
One thing that Barry was happy with was how well the team reacted to the situation.
“We were mature enough to deal with the problems,” Barry said. “We were versatile enough to deal with the problems.”
Because of the collision, the A boat only finished 36th in a field of 58, while boat B came in 46th.
Crew does not generally leave the Schuylkill River, but White said he wanted his crew to “see what real speed was.”
“We could have stayed on the Schuylkill, saved some money and the trouble of coming up here,” White said. “But [these are] the best crews in the East Coast. And they really gave a good accounting of themselves. They caught a couple crews, and that was good.”
Men’s crew will compete next week in the Turn and Burn Regatta on the Schuylkill River on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Don McDermott can be reached at email@example.com.