Past Seasons‎ > ‎3‎ > ‎2007-2008 Season‎ > ‎

2008 IRA Recap

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008


All of the students are now home, and the boathouse is a strangely quiet place, save for the fun sounds of crews heading out for reunion rows. 

The heavyweights and lightweights concluded their seasons at the IRA last weekend. Race recaps are below, but first another HUGE thank you to the parents who kept the Dartmouth trailer well-supplied with cold drinks, food, and encouragement during a long, hot weekend in Camden 

IRA Recap from Heavyweight Coach Topher Bordeau

“I can’t remember being as proud of a program as I am of this year’s heavyweights. At several points over the season, 2008 could have turned into another grim year, but the guys left Camden justifiably excited about results that point to a promising future. 

Having entered the national championship with a #18 ranking, getting to the C-final and upsetting a few crews there was a solid goal for the guys, and I think they were licking their chops when they saw that Georgetown would be the crew they’d have to beat in their semifinal (along with two others from a field of Oregon State, Syracuse, Colgate, and Holy Cross). Georgetown had knocked them out of the petite-final at Sprints and vengeance was on order. After racing the first 500 level with leaders OSU and Syracuse, the guys were up a few seats on Georgetown. The Hoyas wouldn’t go away easily, though, pressing back through us early in the third 500 before the guys put the hammer down in the final 700 to drop Georgetown and earn their place in the C-final. 

Our final included Syracuse and Oregon State again, along with BU—who had beaten us by 10 seconds at the Bill Cup, Michigan, and Penn. The guys blasted off the line and were part of a leading trio with Syracuse and OSU that moved away from the trailing trio of Penn, BU and Michigan to about a ½ length lead with 700 gone. Following the race on my bike, I was impressed with how fiercely the guys were racing early, and I remember worrying that they’d pay a price for that in the third 500. 

When Michigan and BU moved through us during the third 500, my worries appeared to be well-founded. But the guys weren’t done, starting their sprint early and attacking one stroke at a time until they had passed Michigan with 400 to go and BU with 150 to go. They finished third in the C-final, 15th overall—a 9-spot improvement over last season. 

Shortly after the guys got off the water, we shared the sentiment that we wished the season were longer—they felt like they kept getting faster and faster during championship season, and I agreed. That sort of feeling points to a bright future, and it makes the present-tense training that’s involved in chasing it very exciting.” 

IRA Recap from Lightweight Coach Steve Perry:

“With the lightweight eight as the only men's size specific event at the IRA we were fortunate to also have members of our Second and Third Varsity race in the pair and varsity four with coxswain events.  This gave our guys a great opportunity to get more racing experience in numerous six boat races and three more weeks of rowing under belts. 

The Varsity Four with coxswain raced hard but ultimately did not have the juice to make a mark in the semifinals.  The pair fared much better, posting the 3rd fastest heat time on Thursday en route to winning their rep for a spot in Saturday's final.  Taking advantage of a stiff tailwind the pair battled for the lead of the final in the first 400m of the race.  However, as the field found their rhythm Dartmouth felt the pressure and wasn't able to find the same gear.  We eventually fell off pace and finished fifth in the final. 

Following their 5th place finish at the Eastern Sprints the First Varsity Eight headed back to Hanover for three weeks of training with a renewed drive and determination to gain speed for the IRA.  I wanted to jumpstart the line-up and give the boat swift kick of horsepower.  So we switched our line-up around and put in new personnel for that extra pop.  

Saturday morning the 1V executed a perfect race showing some new speed. Dartmouth grabbed the lead off the line and pushed with Navy out on Cornell, MIT and Fordham.  Cornell made a strong move over the third 500m and took the lead of the race.  In the final 500m Navy and Dartmouth jousted while moving back on Cornell, the midshipmen just got the better of Dartmouth with Cornell finishing first.   

In the afternoon grand final Dartmouth rocketed off the starting line ahead of Princeton, Cornell, Yale, Georgetown and Navy.  However the rating stayed too high and the boat never found the good rhythm they had in the morning. A digger in the second 500m put Dartmouth back a length to the field and they were not able to mount a charge back into the developing dogfight between Cornell, Princeton, Navy and Yale.  Cornell took the lead from Princeton in the final 500m and held off a charging Navy crew for the win, Dartmouth finished 3 lengths back from the winner in sixth place.” 

Thanks to all of you for all of the supportive email and encouragement at the races. Stay tuned for an exciting announcement about an event this fall! 


Topher, Wendy, and Steve.