WEST WINDSOR, N.J. -- The Bates men's rowing second varsity eight was ready to compete in the third level final Sunday morning at the 116th annual IRA National Championship Regatta when the word came down: all remaining races scheduled for the day were canceled.
The conditions on the Mercer Lake water, especially at the start, were too rough to justify continuing the regatta. It was so bad that a Boston University crew had damaged some of their equipment in the previous race, prompting a delay and eventually the cancellation of the remainder of the races, including the Bates second varsity eight's third level final and the first varsity eight's fourth level final.
Despite the anticlimactic end to the season, it goes down as the best in Bates men's rowing history. The first varsity eight finished a program-best third at the Head of the Charles Regatta in the fall. Then the Bobcats won a pair of gold medals at the New England Rowing Championships and swept all their events at the National Invitational Rowing Championships in the spring, winning the NESCAC title and qualifying for IRAs in the process.
This year was Bates' first appearance at the IRA National Championship Regatta, competing against the best of the best in collegiate rowing, including the likes of Washington, Harvard and Yale. Bates is also the first NESCAC school to compete in the varsity eights races at IRAs. The IRA National Championships have been held since 1895 and serve as the National Championship for men's heavyweight, men's lightweight and women's lightweight rowing. Yale won the first varsity eight grand final this year and Washington took home the points trophy.
The Bobcats wrap up their first appearance at IRAs having defeated crews from Stanford, Saint Joseph's (Pa.), Florida Tech and UC San Diego over the course of six races.
Alternate #1: Jackson Cote
Alternate #2: Jonathan Reid
Alternate #3: Quinn Hayward
Alternate cox: Aidan Temperino