Academy’s crew fall season all boiled down to the Head of the Hooch regatta. Academy Rowing Club travelled amongst 12,000 rowers to Chattanooga, Tennessee to take on the Chattanooga River in a major crew competition on November 1 .
“This is the big one.” Coach Jorge Rodriguez summed up the importance of the race.
The Head of the Hooch was originally held on the Chattahoochee but because of the influx of rowers, the races were later moved to the Chattanooga River in 2005. The race course is 5,000 meters (3.1 miles.) Schools and clubs come from all over the nation compete against one another on the big river.
Members of AHNRC all had unique opinions on the big fall regatta:.
Sophomore rower Alison Foley says “I honestly love the bus ride up there. It’s fun to stay up all night and bond with the team.”
“You get to see teams from all over the country ranging from high schools around here to colleges up north,” said senior Nora Johnson.
“It’s a good way to see where you stand nationally. It’s a great feeling even when you get top 10 in this massive of a regatta,” added assistant coach and Academy alumna Taylor DeMesa.
Highlights of this weekend include the novice 4+ placing 2nd scholastically and 12th overall. The senior 4x also placed 2nd scholastically and 13th overall.
Senior team member Madison Allen said that crew is more than just hard work. The team also tries to have fun to build team spirit. “The weekend before the team competed at the Halloween Regatta, in which the AHN crew team showed off their spirit by dressing up in costumes. The senior quad wore leis and dressed as either Princess Leia from Star Wars, Hawaiian princesses, or potato chips. The underclasswomen varied their costumes from pirates to black cats to pink princesses. The entire team improved in their races and had a great day. The senior quad got second place in their race and received silver medals. ”
During the Chattanooga regatta, the weather was the best it has been in years and the setting was gorgeous. All of the AHN boats performed well and gave it their all. Every boat improved from last year and the coaches are very proud. The rowers and parents went out for food and ice cream and bonded over karaoke. The team is looking forward to a successful Spring season.
The Head of the Hooch regatta wrapped up the crew fall season. With blistered hands and tired legs, the Academy rowing team will enjoy the short break before going back to the daily grind after Thanksgiving break to prepare for the crew spring season.