Mateo Vazquez ’21
This past Sunday, the men’s rowing team closed out their fall season with a friendly training exercise with Tufts University. The crews got together for the first annual competition of the Munger Cup. In previous years, the crews used to meet at Dartmouth University for the Green Monster Head Race. However, this was the first year that Dartmouth opted to not host the race. Traditionally, at the Head of the Green Monster, the crews would go back out on the water after finishing the race for a second session and have mixed boats between Trinity, Tufts and Dartmouth. Hence, when Dartmouth announced that they were not hosting this year, Tufts and Trinity crews decided to host their own event.
The majority of the training was focused on preparing for the spring season, where the races are all 2000 meter sprint races versus the fall, which has head races usually around 5000 meters long. Obviously, this shift in focus leads to a faster and more intense racing. Many of the athletes look forward to the spring season as a result of the shift and focus in the type of rowing. During the spring season, one of the most interesting aspects is that multiple crews are lined up six boats across and all go down the course at the same time. This style of racing creates very intense and chaotic battles across the crews as they are only spread a few feet apart within their lanes. Overall, most athletes prefer the spring season for this short but intense style of racing that is more commonly featured at events such as the Olympics.
The shift in focus away from the fall season into the spring was very exciting for both rowing teams. The crews did a few sprint pieces with their respective 1v, 2v, and 3v lineups. However, the challenge came during the second session of racing when the crews undertook mixed lineups. One of the most exciting parts about mixed lineups is the spread in the level of rowing. Athletes in the 1v mix in with people from Tufts 3v or 4v, so, it is great for everyone to learn to adapt to these changes and improve their rowing. The coaches did their best to split four Trinity rowers and four Tufts rowers between six boats. While inter-squad bragging rights were on the line, the biggest prize was the Munger Cup for the winning mixed crew. It was quite intense, as many of the groups have never rowed together before so the first few pieces were not as well connected. However, once they started rowing together, it was amazing to see the crews flying down the river. One of the crews that stood out in particular was “The People’s Varsity,” which was one of the Tufts boats and also led by one of Tufts coxswains. The crew was mostly Tufts first-year rowers as well as a few Trinity first- years. They demonstrated their commitment on the course in the last few pieces, where they found themselves out in front and hence secured the Munger Cup. Then, right when the rowers thought that the day was coming to an end, the coaches called “prison rules” (meaning that there are no rules at all) and the coxswains quickly called their crews up to race into the dock. Overall, the event was great for both crews and an exciting way to end the fall season.