Three boats won their races as the nationally ranked No. 9 Hamilton College Continentals hosted No. 11 Rochester Institute of Technology, No. 5 Smith College and No. 8 William Smith College on the Erie Canal in Rome on Saturday.
Racing conditions for the 2,000-meter course were solid with a tailwind of 12 to 14 mph. The races for the varsity 8 and second varsity 8 were held in a heat-to-finals format, while the varsity 4 and third varsity 8 competed in just one race apiece.
Hamilton's varsity 8 boat and second varsity 8 boat won both their heats and grand final races. The varsity 8 beat RIT in their heat by nearly 12 seconds with a time of 6:44.76 to 6:56.59, and edged Smith in the grand final by less than a second with a time of 6:44.51 to 6:44.94.
The second varsity 8 boat defeated RIT by more than nine seconds with a time of 7:01.21 to 7:10.6. The Continentals squeezed by Smith in the grand final by less than two seconds with a time of 7:02.24 to 7:03.71.
"The women saw some close races with our guests Smith, William Smith and RIT," head coach Jim Lister said. "The women's 2v8 started the afternoon in the finals with a win over Smith by a margin of 1.47 seconds. In the varsity women's eight, the race was even closer with the boat sprinting from several seats down to catch Smith by a margin of 0.43 seconds for the win."
Hamilton's novice 4 boat won their race, which was a mix of varsity and novice four entries, with a time of 8:15.17. Smith finished in 8:16.94 and William Smith was third in 8:24.76. The Continentals ended up behind Smith in the third varsity 8 race with a time of 7:37.86. Smith finished comfortably ahead in 7:15.38 and RIT was third in 7:47.24.
"Our men's and women's third varsity 8 both continue to improve their race capacity and we expect them to be ready at the New York State Championships with three more weeks of preparation," Lister said. "The last race of the day was a mix of novice fours that raced three boats across. The crew from Hamilton was victorious with a slight margin of 1.77 seconds in front of Smith and 8.49 seconds in front of William Smith.
"Today was our opportunity to host the first of three home regattas on the Erie Canal. The shoreline at the finish line was full of tents filled with parents and alumni. The home course cheers were much appreciated for a very exciting day of racing. We are grateful to have what I think is one of the best race courses in New York. The course held up tremendously well to allow for fair racing conditions. It was a good day for Hamilton Rowing."
Hamilton will host Union College, St. Lawrence University, University of Rochester and Vassar College on Saturday, April 20 on the Erie Canal.
-- Release by Amanda Ghiloni '22