Head of the Fish
Head of the Charles
Hamilton Starts 2003 Fall Season
Page Previous -1- -2- -3- -4-   Next
Head of the Fish    
Saratoga Springs, NY
October 25, 2003

The Hamilton Men’s and Women’s rowing teams wrapped up the fall season at the ever-growing Head of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, NY. With over a 1000 boats racing, the Head of the Fish is now the 2nd largest regatta in the northeast, behind only the Head of the Charles in Boston.

The Novice Mens 4 competition was the first Hamilton race of the day. At this point in the early morning, the weather was almost perfect – flat water and minimal wind. The lineup of coxswain Tucker Hutchinson; Stroke, Rob Lee; 3-seat, John Knauss,; 2-seat, Tim Foley; and bow Jim Smith motored down the course to finish 5th out of 28. Coxswain Tucker Hutchinson did a superb job of steering the boat down the course, passing 7 boats along the way.

The next race for Hamilton was the Novice Womens 8. The novice women raced in an 8 previously at the Head of the Erie. However, then they only 6 people rowed at one time. The Head of the Fish marked the girl’s first serious race. They did not disappoint. Their finish position was 11 out of a large field of 39. The lineup was: Coxswain Kate Brandli, Stroke Suzy Belmont 7 Brie O’Reilly, 6 Kate Pallin, 5 Danielle Massee, 4 Emily Hamlin, 3 Beth Starker, 2 Sarah Britton, and Bow Tierney Boisvert.

The weather started to turn sour for the novice girls race. By varsity races in the late afternoon, it turned downright nasty. The rain held off, but the wind picked up creating a strong headwind. The race officials decided to shorten the race to avoid white caps near the finish line, so the varsity crews raced a distance of only 3,000 meters.

The lineup for the Men’s 8 was: Catherine Gilbert, coxswain; Kevin Doyck, stroke; Kosta Popovic, 7-seat; Josh Huling, 6-seat; Pete Coxeter, 5-seat; Henry Chicaiza, 4-seat; Ernesto Gomez, 3-seat; Axtell Arnold, 2-seat; Chris Martin-McNaughton, bow. Before launching, the men were determined to end their season with their strongest performance thus far. Bow seat, Chris Martin-McNaughton, noted that, “we have had an up and down fall season. All that I care about now is going out there and showing that we are going to be a contender for the spring.” The men did just that. In perhaps their best row of the year, the men finished an impressive 6th place out of 29 boats. They were able to just nudge past Union and beat a strong Ithaca crew by 5 seconds. Another rival put down by the continentals was Skidmore – a distant 7 places behind Hamilton. 4 Seat Henry Chicaiza summed up the performance with this: “going into this race, there was some doubt about the speed that we were capable of. Some even believed we would be far behind Skidmore. With this performance behind us, I’m glad to lay any doubts to rest. We will be a force to reckon with come sprint season.”

After a disappointing Head of the Charles, the varsity women were also looking to impress. Despite a raging head wind, the girls managed a very respectable 19th out of 38. Sophomore Lisi Krainer commented that, “although the race was only about 3000 meters, the race seemed really long because of the strong headwind. We started to get tired and had a difficult time keeping a high stroke rating. At first we were at a 31, but as the race wore on, our rating dropped down to a 28-29. Trying to stay long and strong in the headwind, we only brought it up to a 30 for the sprint.” 7-seat Alexis Castrovinci agreed with Lisi about the race: “In my 6 years of rowing, it was the hardest conditions I have experienced. However, considering the weather, I thought we did well.” The lineup was: Lisa Schaaf, Coxswain; Kalin Jaffe, stroke; Alexis Castrovinci, 7-seat; Courtney McBride, 6-seat; Lisi Krainer, 5-seat; Kristin Dillner, 4-seat; Kim Aber, 3-seat; Anne Kurtz, 2-seat; Becky Benham, bow.

Aside from the varsity women, Hamilton also entered a novice womens 8 in the varsity race. Despite the fact that they were racing competition with much more experience, the novice boat did very well. They finished a very respectable 32nd, beating 6 veteran crews. The boat consisted of: Coxswain Sarah Britton, Stroke Suzy Belmont, 7 Brie O’Reilly, 6 Kate Pallin, 5 Danielle Massee, 4 Megan Swanby, 3 Beth Starker, 2 Kate Brandli, and bow Julie Matheny.

Back up to Headlines
Head of the Charles      

Boston, MA
October 19, 2003

The Hamilton Crew team sent its men’s and women’s varsity 8’s to Boston for the Head of the Charles Regatta. The Head of the Charles Regatta -- first held in 1965 -- is the world's largest two-day rowing event. The race is conducted over three miles of Boston's Charles River, and featured some of the world's premier national and collegiate teams. Included among the participants were U.S. and Canadian national teams.

Both Varsity 8’s from Hamilton competed on Sunday in the Collegiate 8’s event. With most of the premier races held on Sunday, it was estimated that over 200,000 spectators were on hand. Among the crowd were many Hamilton alumni and supporters cheering for Hamilton in both races. With this added motivation, the rowers aimed to put forth their best performance of the season.

The men started their race with bow number 18. In front of Hamilton was Williams College and behind was University of Rhode Island. In the first mile of the race, Hamilton was unable to hold off the very fast URI crew. The URI crew, which ended up finishing in 8th place overall, put together a move and was able to take the Hamilton crew on the inside of the turn going past the riverside boathouse. Fortunately, Hamilton regained their composure as they headed into the stretch of the Charles known as the “powerhouse stretch.” At this point in the race, the rowing was sharp and powerful. According to stroke seat Kevin Doyck, “the powerhouse stretch was the best stretch of rowing for the day. We were super-charged with adrenaline rowing in front of so many people.”

Unfortunately, the effects of the adrenaline began to wear off once fatigue began to set in. With a charging University of Cincinnati boat fast approaching, the rest of the race was a determined effort to hold them off. Fortunately, Hamilton was able to gather themselves for a strong finish and crossed the finish line ahead of the Cincinnati boat.

The lineup for the Men’s 8 was: Cambridge Peters, coxswain; Kevin Doyck, stroke; Kosta Popovic, 7-seat; Josh Huling, 6-seat; Pete Coxeter, 5-seat; Henry Chicaiza, 4-seat; Ernesto Gomez, 3-seat; Chris Martin-McNaughton, 2-seat; Alex Kaufman, bow.

The Men finished in 34th place out of 40 boats, with a time of 16:36.5. The race was won by the University of Minnesota with a time of 14:54.1. On a positive note, the men were able to beat a Colgate crew that bettered them in a scrimmage two weeks ago and again at the Stonehurst Capital Regatta the week before.

In the women’s race, the Hamilton rowers found themselves rowing a race filled with memorable moments. Due to their strong performance last year, Hamilton started behind Tufts University and in front of Washington College with bow number 11. Stroke Kalin Jaffe reports that at the start of the race, the Hamilton boat was experience a little anxiety and rush. After about a 1/2 mile into the race, however, the Hamilton boat started to click together as a crew going by Magazine beach. Succumbing to the powerful Washington College crew, Hamilton settled on a strategy of focusing their energy within the boat, instead of being distracted by the goings-on about them. This strategy worked well going into the last bridge on the course. Ohio State took a strong move at this point and drew even with the Hamilton crew as the coxswains began to navigate their crews around a turn. Unfortunately, the Hamilton crew soon found themselves fending off the Ohio State oars. The boats were not able to avoid each other, and Hamilton was forced to lose time by checking down the boat in the water, hoping to stay out of a collision. Nevertheless, the end result was an injured Hamilton boat punctured by an Ohio State oar, and a tangle up with stroke seat Kalin Jaffe forced to sit out a number of stroke with 7-seat Alexis Castrovinci taking over the stroking duties.

Rowing this eventful race for the women were Lisa Schaaf, Coxswain; Kalin Jaffe, stroke; Alexis Castrovinci, 7-seat; Courtney McBride, 6-seat; Lisi Krainer, 5-seat; Kristin Dillner, 4-seat; Kim Aber, 3-seat; Anne Kurtz, 2-seat; Becky Benham, bow. Because the race officials tacked on a 1:00 penalty for their participation in the boat tangle-up, Hamilton finished in an unfortunate last place with a penality-adjusted time of 19:54. Their pre-penalty time was 18:54.

In addition to racing in the Collegiate events, Hamilton entered an eight in the women’s club race on Saturday. Consisting of alumnae, the main goal for this boat was to get together, have some fun, and go out for a row for old time’s sake. Before the race, many of the rowers expressed a curious mixture of excitement and concern for their fitness. The boat was able to get together Friday for a row on the course and reported that things went, “better than expected.” Unfortunately, competing against current college rowers mainly, the boat ended up finishing in last place with a time of 21:05.

Article by: Tom Wimes
Back up to Headlines
Hamilton Starts 2003 Fall Season

The start of the fall racing season for the Hamilton College Men’s and Women’s Rowing teams fell on a weekend marked by gusty winds on Saturday, and scattered showers on Sunday. After nearly a month of training, the rowers finally had a chance to gauge their speed against traditional rivalries at the 5 Kilometer Head of the Erie. Organized by the Rome Rowing Club as a fundraiser, the Head of the Erie was held out of the Hamilton College boathouse on the Erie Canal in Rome, NY. Being the only race scheduled for the fall season on the Hamilton home course, the rowers had the opportunity to showcase their boat-moving abilities in front of a crowd of Hamilton fans.

The format of the regatta split the racing up into two days – small boat racing on Saturday and large boat racing on Sunday. Normally, the team doesn’t have the opportunity to enter many small boats into races because of time and transportation limitations. Taking advantage of the location of this race, however, Hamilton Crew entered 15 singles and a pair. The fleet of singles put out by Hamilton dwarfed the number of boats entered by the competition which was composed mainly of area clubs and a few college entries.

In the Men’s Collegiate Singles, the four Hamilton entries found themselves in a race by themselves so they looked toward each other for competition. Chris Martin-McNaughton eventually prevailed in a time of 22:24. Pete Coxeter finished 2nd, William “Axtell” Arnold finished 3rd and Ernesto Medina-Gomez rounded out the field in 4th. The Women’s Collegiate Single saw Anne Kurtz win in a time of 26:53 with Alexis Castrovinci second in 30:34 and Becky Benham in 3rd with a time of 32:17. According to the winner, Anne Kurtz, aside from nearly hitting the first mile marker in the race everything went smoothly. On her margin of victory, Kurtz commented, “I don’t know how that happened. I just felt fine and dropped the hammer.”

The Men’s Open Single was an event that garnered much hype and excitement in the week preceding the event. The race featured three top Hamilton rowers; Kevin Doyck, Josh Huling and Henry Chicaiza; a former Hamilton oarsman and current rival, John Adams, who now rows out of Rome Rowing Club; and Hamilton Crew assistant coach, Tom Wines. In the end, Kevin Doyck won in a time of 21:07. Doyck could not afford to take any easy strokes in his victory as he was closely pursued by Adams and Wines who finished with times of 21:53 and 22:00 respectively. Huling and Chicaiza rounded out the field in 4th and 5th place with times of 23:12 and 24:08. After the race, Doyck, who is also the captain of the Men’s team, noted that the race lived up to expectations. “Before the race I knew that I would have tough competition. I’m just glad that I was able to prevail through a really strong headwind,” commented Doyck. Chicaiza threw in his two-cents about the racing saying, “I’m just glad that Kevin beat the asst. coach.”

The Women’s Open Single proved to be a tough race for Captain Kristen Dillner, the lone Hamilton entry. The race was won by one of the top lightweight women scullers in the country, Jana Heere. Dillner finished in 3rd with a time of 26:12 and with this to say about her experience, “my race was long and the wind was just killer.” The Women’s Novice Single race was won in a time of 25:41 by Kalin Jaffe.

In the Masters sculling races, Head Coach Mike Gilbert and Assistant Coach Catherine Gilbert showcased their skills as they each finished second in the men’s and women’s categories. Mike Gilbert’s time was 24:01 and Catherine Gilbert finished in 25:37. While the two were just off their peak fitness level from their competitive days, they each displayed the finer points of technique as they rowed past the crowd.

Despite the lack of competition in some of the events, the Saturday racing was by and large a very positive experience. Coach Mike Gilbert was pleased with the racing, noting that he was pleased to know that the large majority of his team had the competency to scull well enough to race. This skill is not something that most collegiate rowers learn while at college. In fact, other coaches in attendance commented to the Hamilton rowers that they were very impressed that collegiate rowers could scull as well as the Hamilton rowers did. Rower Henry Chicaiza summed up the day best, stating that the day was, “a good start to the fall season.”

On Sunday, September 28th the small boats were put away in favor of the larger boats that collegiate teams traditionally compete in. Joining Hamilton College on the Erie Canal were Colgate University, Ithaca College, St. Lawrence University, United States Merchant Marine Academy, and Cazenovia College.

The first event of the day was the Women’s Varsity 4 event. A Hamilton lineup consisting of Kalin Jaffe, Kim Aber, Kristen Dillner, Alexis Castrovinci and Amelia Conlon crossed the line in 4th place in a time of 21:10. The race was won by Colgate in a time of 20:07. In the Men’s Varsity 4, Hamilton stroked their way to a second place finish in a time of 18:30. Colgate proved victorious in a time of 17:51. The Hamilton boat was coxed by Cambridge Peters and rowed by Keven Doyck, Pete Coxeter, Jamie Grifo and Axtell Arnold.

In the Women’s Varsity 8, Hamilton put out a lineup with Amelia Conlon, Coxswain; Kalin Jaffe, Stroke; Becky Benham, 7-Seat; Kristen Dillner, 6-Seat; Alexis Castrovinci, 5-Seat; Courtney McBride, 4-Seat; Lisi Krainer, 3-Seat; Anne Kurtz, 2-Seat; and Kim Aber, Bow. Starting in front of Ithaca, Hamilton held them off for about 1200 meters before Ithaca was able to put together a move to pass them. The rower’s attention was then directed towards holding off a charging Colgate boat. Colgate made a strong move in the middle of the race making up some ground on Hamilton. The Hamilton rowers then responded with a strong push of their own. Unfortunetly in the end, their time was 5 seconds short of beating the Colgate boat. In the final rankings, Hamilton finished in 7th place with a final time of 19:16. The Ithaca B boat won the event in a time of 17:45.

The Hamilton lineup for the Men’s Varsity 8 race consisted of Cambridge Peters, Coxswain; Kevin Doyck, Stroke, Kosta Popovic, 7-Seat; Josh Huling, 6-Seat; Pete Coxeter, 5-Seat; Axtell Arnold, 4-Seat; Henry Chicaiza, 3-Seat; Chris Martin McNaughton 2-Seat; and Ernesto Medina-Gomez in bow seat. Hamilton started the race in front of the Colgate B boat and was able to hold them off, beating them by 24 seconds. 6-seat Josh Huling reflected after the race was over that, “Colgate started the race with a strong move and made up considerable distance on us. However, we kept our cool and after the Colgate boat began to tire we really began to pull away by bringing up the stroke rate and the pressure.” With this calm and collected effort, Hamilton finished 3rd overall behind the Colgate and Ithaca “A” boats in a time of 16:27. Colgate won the race with a time of 16:00.

The Women’s novice team entered an eight and a quad into the races. The eight rowed down the course with 2 people alternatively sitting out and stabilizing the boat as the rowers are still in the process of mastering the sport. Despite only rowing 6 people at a time, Hamilton finished 2nd place in the novice event behind St. Lawrence and beating Cazenovia. The quad (a sculling boat) also did well picking up valuable racing experience while competing in the varsity event. The Men’s novice team followed suit from the Women’s novice squad by rowing only 6 people at a time and finished their race in 2nd place, behind a more experienced Merchant Marines Academy squad.

Article by: Tom Wines
Back up to Headlines
Page Previous -1- -2- -3- -4-   Next
    Website maintained by: Tom Wines
Website designed by: Matt Baum
  Questions, comments? email: