March 9, 2009
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The women's crew has returned to the Charles River for the spring season, and the openweight squad is poised to take on its most competitive racing schedule in recent memory. In her second year, head coach Holly Metcalf has lined up a full slate of strong Division I opponents to prepare the team for a challenging season that will culminate with a trip to England for the Henley Women's Regatta.
Racing begins only a week after spring break, with a trip to Pennsylvania to face Bucknell on April 5. The Engineers lost to the Bison last year when they raced each other in Virginia, so this will be a good early test of speed for the 2009 season.
The following weekend the team will head to Washington, D.C., for the two-day George Washington Invitational. In three rounds of racing MIT will get a look at several EAWRC opponents, including Columbia, Georgetown, Navy, and host George Washington.
After a weekend off, Tech will host two home races on the Charles. The opponents will be the University of Massachusetts on April 25, and the University of Rhode Island on April 26. URI won a hard-fought victory against MIT in Kingston last year, and the Engineers hope to turn the tables with the home course advantage this time.
The final home race will be the third-annual Beanpot Regatta on May 2, versus Boston College, Boston University, Northeastern, and Radcliffe. Columbia will also compete as a guest crew; this second race against the Lions will provide a good gauge of the team's progress through the season.
Facing such fast hometown opponents will be a good warm-up for the Eastern Sprints two weeks later. The traditional 18-team championship is the oldest and most competitive in the country.
The crew will resume training after a break for finals and graduation in order to race in a foreign competition for the first time. The Henley Women's Regatta takes place on the historic course at Henley-on-Thames in England. It has been held since 1988 and will be on June 19-21 this year.