Crew teams off to a good start at first home regatta

Lewis & Clark crew held their Charlie Brown regatta last Saturday. Women’s varsity eight-shell finished second with a time of 14:35 and the men’s varsity four-shell finished third with a time of 14:45. As the first home regatta of the season, it provided a great look at this year’s new crew team members.

Clare Shapiro ’20 only started rowing this semester after coming to LC from Los Angeles, but has quickly adapted to life on the water.

“It looked like an interesting sport. It also looked tough and demanding which I was looking for because I quit soccer and swim, so I wanted to try something new. So far it’s been great, it’s been a very great experience. I’ve met a lot of new people and am getting a great workout in,” said Shapiro.

The varsity crew team meets six times a week, twice a day for their practices. In the morning they have weights, a core workout or cardio and in the afternoons they practice on the Willamette River. The tough teambuilding that the crew teams undergo leads to a sense of community for the rowers, as Mia Eichel ’20 has experienced.

“It’s very technical and if one person is off it affects the whole boat,” said Eichel. “And so it’s very dependent on everyone doing their absolute best. The only way that you’re going to win is if everyone is giving one hundred percent of their effort for the whole time and you can definitely tell when the results come out. We’re getting closer every practice, every race. It’s nice to be a part of a team.”

Crew at LC is structured around a varsity team supported by a second junior varsity team as well as a novice team. Due to the small number of students involved in the crew program, there is some overlap between the teams.

“There’s normally one or two boats of each school for varsity and novice. I raced on both teams for this regatta. I was in the second varsity eight and the novice eight. Novice is mostly people who have just joined, they’ve only been doing crew for about five weeks,” Shapiro said.

Conditions at the race were initially questionable, but it turned out to be a beautiful day. Portland weather can be unpredictable, forcing the crew team to row in severe conditions as long as there’s no risk of lightning.

“In the morning there was a bunch of fog and it delayed my first race which ended up making the time between my first race and second race really short” said Jace Lindemann ’20. Lindemann only started rowing for crew this year after moving to Portland from Anchorage, Alaska.

The crew team is hosting their second regatta as part of the upcoming family weekend. It will be held Saturday, Oct. 29 at Oaks Park.

“We have a regatta next weekend, it’s the orange and black regatta so its inter-team competition. We split the team up into two groups and race each other. We had to come up with our own lineups and everything. It’ll be fun,” Eichel said.

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