3rd Place at the Hooch!
Just got back from my first Head of the Hooch, which also happened to be just my second head race. I knew the it was a huge event, but I don’t think it dawned on me until I saw it for myself just how big it was. Our entire boat was really nervous because only half of our varsity 8+ has been rowing long enough to even go to the Hooch twice and our entire starboard side is only on its second semester of rowing.
We found out just before we boated out that our novice 4+ (which has two rowers who each have more experience than the starboard side of our varsity 8+ has combined, oddly enough) had gotten 3rd and while we were really excited for them, I think everyone felt like we had something to prove. When we went down the chute the stagger between boats got really big and the boat ahead of us started 45 seconds ahead of us and the boat behind us started well over a minute after us. It made for a really lonely race because the boat ahead of us finished second and put distance on us the entire race while we put distance on the boats behind us. It would have been really easy to get complacent but our coxswain did an amazing job of keeping us focused and motivated. She also kept an amazing line the entire race and as a result the course seemed to fly by. We passed the halfway point and my mind was blown at how fast the first half had gone by. Except for passing a few junior 4s from the race ahead of us, the last half of the race was uneventful until we sprinted from a little over 500 out. I was watching from bow seat and could tell everyone was exhausted, but somehow the entire boat dug deep and we were able to gain about 2 feet of run while upping the rating about 3 strokes a minute. The guys cheering for us on shore were super loud and finishing like that was an amazing feeling. We thought we’d finished in the top half of the race, but when the results were posted we were in disbelief.
Saturday was an amazing day for me individually and for the club. We’d never medaled at Hooch before Saturday and we finished Saturday with bronze in the College and Club Novice 4+ and the Club 8+. We finish our fall season next weekend at Head of the South (where we’ll be rowing a lightweight 4 for the first time that I’ll either be stroke or 3 seat in. super excited) and then push for spring season starts. I’ve never loved rowing or my teammates as much as I do right now.
- transcendentalnumber posted this