The Hamilton College Continentals finished second in the varsity 8 and second varsity 8 grand final at Lake Quinsigamond in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Sunday morning.
Hamilton had three varsity 8 boats at the event. The races for the varsity 8 and second varsity 8 boats were conducted in a heat-to-final format, where the top two boats in the heat went on to the grand final. The third varsity 8 boat raced just once.
The nationally ranked No. 12 Continentals raced against Assumption College, Clark University, Johnson & Wales University, Mount Holyoke College, Simmons University, No. 13 Washington College and No. 3 Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The conditions during the heats were calm, while racers faced a 5-to-10 mile per hour direct headwind with light chop in the finals. All the races were run on a 2,000-meter course.
The varsity 8 and second varsity 8 boats both won their heats. The varsity 8 boat finished with a time of 7:05.8 followed by Mount Holyoke (7:14.4), Clark (7:22.1) and Johnson & Wales (7:33.1). The second varsity 8 boat finished in 7:22.40 followed by Mount Holyoke (7:37.9), Clark (7:49.5) and Simmons (7:51.39).
In the varsity 8 grand final, Hamilton fell 7.2 seconds behind the first place boat from WPI with a time of 7:11.8. Mount Holyoke was a distant third (7:23.55) and Washington ended up fourth (7:27.73). The Continentals' second varsity 8 finished in 7:50.38, less than 16 seconds behind WPI's winning time of 7:34.8. Washington was right behind Hamilton in 8:00.99 and Mount Holyoke landed in fourth place (8:13.77).
"Our second day of racing this weekend allowed each boat to make adjustments to their race plan," head coach Jim Lister said. "Both the women's varsity 8 and second varsity 8 showed more speed through the back half of race and closed their times to WPI, who was the standard of the weekend."
The third varsity 8 came in third place in their race with a time of 8:31.18, which was about 25 seconds behind the winning WPI boat (8:06.1). WPI's second entry finished second (8:25.94) and Simmons was fourth (9:05.33).
"The novice boats benefitted from the quick turnaround and built on their performances from Saturday," Lister said. "The novice men raced in a 4+ and handled the boat very well with a close third place finish. The novice women's 8 felt they had a more complete race from start to finish.
"Overall, it was a competitive field of teams to compete with for our first weekend of racing. I am so impressed with the willingness of the team to step right into the competition with aggressive race plans. We now know the speed and have three weekends of racing on our home course to prepare to see these crews again at the NIRC regatta on May 12. I want to thank all the support from our parents. We had so many families on the shore cheering our boats."
The Continentals race again on Saturday, April 13, when they host Rochester Institute of Technology, William Smith College, and Smith College on the Erie Canal in Rome.
-- Release by Amanda Ghiloni '22