Practices in the predawn cold and endless hours spent erg-ing in preparation for a race that lasts less than 20 minutes. Blisters and calf bites and the ever-present prospect of catching a dreaded “crab.” There’s a reason many people consider rowing to be a masochist’s sport, but the payoff can be sweet — just ask the UNH women’s crew team, whose varsity 4+ boat earned gold at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta in October. Racing against the clock, the Wildcats turned in the fastest time among 36 teams competing in the women’s collegiate 4+ race — four rowers plus coxswain — completing the 5 kilometer course in 18:20, more than three seconds ahead of their closest challenger. It’s the latest in a string of victories for the women’s rowing program; the team’s varsity 8 boat finished second at the national American Collegiate Rowing Association championships in May, and the novice 4+ boat, comprising rowers in their first year of competition, came in first.
Originally published in UNH Magazine Winter 2018 Issue