A look at Bowdoin's very own navy
Chances are that by now, you've noticed the large group of people who
descend on breakfast at Moulton every morning. You know, the people that
are sometimes smelly, sort of wet, and always wide awake; who hog all
the pancakes and scrambled eggs and each wear about nine layers of clothing?
They would be members Bowdoin's very own small navy
the Bowdoin Crew.
The team is off to a strong start this year, with three varsity men's
boats and two varsity women's boats set to lead the way. Coach Gil Birney
is excited to have such a strong varsity program this year. According
to him, it is somewhat rare for the team to boast not only good numbers,
but also good program depth.
Captain Lindsay Sortor '02 agreed. "Judging from the amount of new
recruits we have, I think this program is getting stronger every year,"
she said. "We continue to push ourselves, and the team, to new levels
The men's first test will take place on September 30, at the Textile
River Regatta in Lowell, Massachusetts.
On the women's side, Sortor has taken on a huge role this season. She
is the lone returning varsity rower in the crew, and will put her experience
to good use in stroking the first women's boat. The boat looks to be strong,
with a combination of rowers from last year's first novice women's boat.
Sophmores Katie Chandler, Sadie Anderson, and Alicia Smith were part of
last spring's Dad Vail championship squad-a sort of national championship
for Division III schools-a huge feat for a small program in Maine. Sophomore
Juleah Swanson will spearhead the women as coxswain, bringing her wide
experience as both a rower and a coxswain to the group.
As Coach Birney and his returning rowers can tell you, the Bowdoin crew
program has risen to new heights of competition and prestige in a relatively
short amount of time. The team proudly boasts and entry of five boats
in this year's Head of the Charles Regatta, the "race of all races"
in the rowing world.
The Head of the Charles is set for October 20-21 in Boston. "It's
a tremendous level of competition, and we're very excited about racing
national teams from all over the world," says Sortor.
Another noteworthy race that the crew is looking forward to is the Head
of the Fish Regatta in Saratoga Springs, New York. The rowers make the
yearly trip down to Saratoga to challenge boats from all over the New
England/New York area, and, in the past, have been quite successful.
The coveted prize in this particular regatta is not a typical medal or
it's a real fish head that has been shellacked and mounted
on a plaque. Needless to say, the Bowdoin rowers are hungry for these
fish heads. Last year, the team captured four; a number higher than any
other college team at the race.
With a total of nine boats practicing on the New Meadows River this fall,
the team is off to one of its healthiest starts in years. So now, when
you see a mad rush of people dragging the chairs and tables into a big
group at Moulton each morning, you'll know that they are a unique bunch;
people that argue over who has the best blisters, rise with the sun and
crash by 9pm, and eat more for breakfast than you do all day long.