On October 15th, the UVM Crew Team made history at a new level of international competition at the McGill Eastern Invitational Regatta in Montreal, Canada held at the Olympic Rowing Basin.
The team entered at the last minute after the cancellation of the New Hampshire Championships. What would have been another weekend of long training sessions became quite an amazing experience.
The location at the Olympic Basin and the course length of 2000 meters, as most fall races are usually 6000 meters, were quite unique. Launching from docks from which Olympic rowers once launched was exciting since our usual launch is from old wooden docks on the Lamoille River. The new experience did not intimidate Vermont rowers but motivated them, since the results of UVM’s performance proved their intensity, concentration, and strength.
Setting some new standards for UVM rowing, all of the teams that competed made it to the finals. The men’s novice team flew through the finish in front of all their competition, claiming a gold medal later on the podium. This is a huge step of progress and inspiration for the novice team, who is under the direction of a new coach, Peter Figgins. The men’s varsity lightweight four claimed second in their race.
The women’s varsity A and B boats took first and second places respectively in the open eight race. The astounding finishes of both boats left their strong competitor, McGill University, behind by more than six boat lengths.
The way both boats finished with solid finesse and strength was the persuading piece that gave UVM Crew such high acclaim at the race, as many spectators were talking amongst themselves about the unsuspicious team from the boonies of Milton, Vermont.