Racing in the Baggaley Bowl last weekend, the lightweight rowing team won three races, but lost in the Varsity 8 race against Dartmouth — the No. 2 ranked team in the league. The Green won the Baggaley Bowl last year as well.
“The racing went well,” said head coach Chris Kerber. “Three of my boats won decisively.”
Kerber said that the race provided large opportunities for growth and race restructuring for the lightweights prior to the championship in two weeks.
“The loss provided us a lot of information that we needed to do some final selection of the crew,” Kerber said.
The Red, currently ranked No. 5 in the league, gave a strong performance against Darmouth, who Kerber described as “a very, very good sprint team.” According to the head coach, the team faced a very strong headwind, which negatively affected the race strategy and outcome.
“I felt that the conditions of the race were something that we had not faced at all during the season, and it was a dramatic and very strong headwind,” Kerber said. “The men didn’t handle [it] very well, but they still held on to a close margin from Dartmouth.”
Though the headwind posed challenges to Cornell, Dartmouth team members also expressed dissatisfaction with the weather. Dartmouth head coach Dan Roock described the weather as “hurricane conditions.”
“Even the Dartmouth guys I spoke to said it was some of the harshest conditions they had faced,” added Kerber.
Kerber said that disarray was caused by the timing of the strongest wind, which occurred right before the race.
“A massive gust came up right before our race,” he said.
According to Kerber, many of the Red’s weaknesses were amplified due to the wind and the team will plan for future challenges similar to the ones it faced over the past weekend.
“In those challenging conditions, it gave myself and the crew an opportunity to see how we are as a crew in adverse conditions,” Kerber said. “The thing about rowing is that it is an outdoor sport, and you have to deal with changing conditions all the time. It could go either way — it could go extreme or it could be perfect.”
The Red looks ahead to work through the loss and potentially alter techniques to ensure improvement.
“I have to coach these guys through these loss and we have to systematically see if we can select a faster crew and systematically perhaps make some changes,” Kerber said.
With strong pride and confidence in the Red, Kerber said that the team has been working very hard, and he is confident about its performance in the upcoming league championships.
“The outcome of the race shows that our team is very strong and we have lots of depth and talent in our ranks,” he said. “Winning three out of four races rather decisively tells the league that we are very deep and we will be contending for medals in many of our races.”