Rowing in the Fall

By Liz Haas

When one thinks of fall sports, soccer, football, field hockey, and maybe even cross country and volleyball come to mind. However, for many Hanover High students, crew is a fall sport, too. Hanover High offers crew before school each day in the spring, but for those dedicated to early mornings on the water, fall crew is just as important.

Since Hanover does not offer crew in the fall, students must row for UVRF, the Upper Valley Rowing Foundation. It includes both a Junior program, which most high school rowers choose, and Masters programs for adults. In addition to student rowers, UVRF has several Hanover High student coxswains who participate in both the Masters and Junior programs.

Now, one may wonder why anyone would want to get up before 5:00am three days a week to row. Caitlin Haedrich, a senior who has just completed her first fall crew season on the Juniors team, has some answers.

According to Caitlin, the best part of rowing is that it “is all about teamwork.” In Juniors sweep rowing, each boat has eight rowers with one oar each and a coxswain who gives them directions and steers the boat. Every rower must pull in time with one another, dropping, pulling, and lifting their oars at exactly the same instant, for the boat to move in the desired smooth, quick manner. This requires much practice and dedication, and, as Catlin noted, perfecting the technique of rowing is the most diffi- cult part of the sport.

As for the early mornings, Caitlin insists that five-thirty practices are not that bad. They leave you with the entire afternoon to do home- work and other extracurricular ac- tivities, and you get your workout out of the way before school starts.

When asked if she would recommend fall crew to others, Caitlin quickly said ‘yes,’ mentioning the added perks of getting to watch the sunrise on the Connecticut and sometimes going to Lou’s for breakfast after leaving the Dartmouth boathouse.

UVRF may not be a school-run sport, but that gives its members a chance to make friends with students from other schools. The program boasts ten highly experienced coaches, including Olympian Rowan Carroll, and sends several teams to compete in the world-renowned Head of the Charles race in Boston every October.

So, if you are looking to start a fall sport, or need a change of pace that includes some exercise, you should consider joining the UVRF crew team next fall.

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