Andover Crew 2013
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Sunrise on the Merrimack
Sunset on the Merrimack

Notes on navigating the website:
As an example: Move your mouse over the headings on the top blue/purple line and a drop down menu will appear to show the selections available.
Under "Education" you will see the "Training", move the mouse over it and left click to get to the Training and Fun page.

2013 - New England Championships Boys: Team Trophy 2nd., B1 6th, B2 Bronze, B3 Gold,

2013 - New England Championships Girls: Team Trophy 5th., G1 9th., G2 Bronze, G3 5th


2012 - New England Championships Boys: Team Trophy 1st., B1 Gold, B2 Gold, B3 Gold,

2012 - New England Championships Girls: Team Trophy 6th., G1 11th., G2 6th., G3 Bronze


2011 - USRowing Youth National Championships Boys: Silver Medals

2011 - New England Championships Boys: Team Trophy 1st., B1 Gold, B2 Bronze, B3 Gold,

2011 - New England Championships Girls: Team Trophy 4th., G1 Bronze, G2 5th, G3 Bronze



To provide information and news for the Parents, Friends, and Alumni of Andover Crew.


Andover Crew Community


Some of us still use ink and paper while others use Blackberries and iPhones to communicate. You can participate with Andover crew via this web page and the links at the top of this page to our Guest book, our Facebook group, our Twitter feed and our LinkedIn group. You can also sign-up for our email newsletter by contacting us at We welcome participation, comments, suggestions and especially stories and pictures of Andover rowers young and old. We are happy to help people reconnect with old boatmates.
Our LinkedIn group is our latest addition. We hope our LinkedIn group will provide the opportunity for the Andover Crew family to provide support for our younger rowers as they move into the world. Our young men and women who have maintained good grades while spending 25 to 30 hours a week on competitive rowing at the countries top colleges have already proved that would be valuable additions to any organization that wants to be successful. Membership is only open to rowers, alumni and parents. Click on the picture to join the LinkedIn group..


March 22nd,2013


Oscar Tang is a product of Andover who returned to lead the school with great wisdom to become even better than most thought possible. His "youth from every quarter" mantra ensures that every place is filled with the best possible student. Our lives are enriched because Oscar has touched us all through his involvement with Phillips Academy. Best of all he is an Andover Crew rower. Thank you Oscar Tang.
Click here for Oscar Tang '56: An Andover Life


Racing Season

The racing season is HERE! Now it is parents turn to start the season. Please jump to

to sign up to support the food table and other volunteer race day functions. To sign up to bring food for the food table at the races please click on Food Menu and follow the instructions.

A special appreciation goes to the coaches for laying out the new course, the stake boat kids who were really shaken and frozen in the stake boats and to Peter McKallagat P'00 &'03 who setup the new finish line on Friday and shivered for 3 hours on watch today.
Thanks also to all the parents and grandparents who woke up at dawn to support the team and provide hot food. We hope to see even more of you at every race as we move through the season.
Click here for race results posted for Lawrence-Essex race girls and here for boys.

Click here for Proposed Spring Schedule

Old News

We had a fantastic 2012 with the boys' team sweeping the New England Championships and the completion of the new boathouse. The coming spring will be our first season racing from the new boathouse on our new race course. The boathouse will make it more comfortable than before but we will still have to contend with the New England weather.

The new course will start well above the island and finish just past the boathouse. This course will be a straight run a little over 1500 m because the water will be fast. We hope to have stake boats to make for a more consistent and reliable start. We will have buoys so that the boats do not follow the river bank as it peels off from straight course.

We have just completed our annual scrub of our links list. Here you will find links to all things rowing from spring training tips to rowing gossip. If you are interested in a rowing summer camp now is the time to sign up. The good ones are full by the end of the month. There is also a link to a list of all the colleges that have rowing programs and websites that offer advice on winter training.
Feel free to send suggestions for new links. Click here for Rowing Links - Including tips for spring training.

We have also added a list of links to Andover Crew videos on YouTube. Click here for the YouTube links

Pictures of winter at the Boathouse and spring Erg training at school.

The frozen river beyond the Tang Rock
The boathouse in the setting Winter sun

For more pictures click link below
Parents' Weekend pictures 1

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Interschols '13 races

Congratulations to all of our boats.
Here are the results for NEIRA or Interschols.
Our Boys were: B1:6th, B2:3rd, B3:1st. Team Prize: 2nd
Our Girls were: G1:9th, G2:3rd, G3 5th. Team Prize: 5th
For full results including times please click on NEIRA Results
Or to open and download a PDF of the results click on NEIRA Results PDF

NEIRA Interschols Race Report

This spring, weather wise was one of the best I can remember…until Interschols. The weather lulled us in a false sense of warmth and then hit us on the one day we have to be by the lake from 7 am to 6 pm. It was grey, wet, cold and windy. All days it was as though the dementors from Harry Potter were circling the lake trying to create a big wind to destroy our races.

We will recount the races here for those of you who were not able to attend but to experience the full atmosphere, you should probably read this sitting in your backyard during a rain storm.

On Monday the forecast was for fairly good weather. We planned lots of cold drinks and ice. By Friday we were scrambling to bring extra cooking equipment and hot food. We were trying to plan around the correct types of food for the rowers at each stage of the day and covering the special food required for some rowers without tempting them we food brought for parents.

There are many, many supporters to be thanked but a few went to extraordinary lengths. Cathy Sevastopoulo brought an additional 10 x 20 tent with sides that proved invaluable for keeping the rowers warm and dry. This combined with our 2 regular tents and another from the Newhalls gave our area the look of a slightly disheveled Bedouin encampment. Rome Arnold and Sandra Vallejos managed to secure the tents in the wild conditions. Lisa also brought extra warm jackets to share with everyone. A number of people volunteered to pretend the sun was shining and flip burgers in the rain.

The NEIRA league has some new schools such as Boston College High, Hingham and Bay view. These schools have decided rowing is important for their students and their school marketing. They have combined a large athlete pool, strong school support and enthusiastic professional coaching to make a serious effort to displace the older school at the top of NEIRA. Boston College has well over 1000 boys, Hingham girls are coached by a Serbian UW rowing graduate and Bay View “worked all winter on the ergs to improve their stroke times and prepare them for the spring racing season”. These schools are raising the bar on competitive rowing. We need to match them on every level if we wish our students to be the best while maintaining the wonderful lifelong passion that is Andover Crew.

Last year our boys sweep Interschols for the first time in our history. This year we had the challenge to keep up the standard. Our girls’ team has had falling results in the last few years and the challenge was to steady the decline and try to turn it around. During the season the boys team had strong rowers but we struggled a little to find the rhythm that makes the boats fly. On the girls side we made steady improvements but we lost two of our top rowers to medical problems forcing everyone to move up in the roster.

Our 3rd boats had to rise at the crack of dawn to travel to Lake Quinsigamond. They were the first eights to venture out onto the grey misty water. They flashed surprising enthusiasm and smiles for the early hours. The first G3 heat had 3 boats quickly separate from the others and not need to race to secure their places. In our race G3 rowed superbly to move out ahead with Exeter and Framingham coming behind to take the last place in the finals. In the boys' race our B3 moved out to a commanding lead followed by Exeter who in turn left Tabor and St. Paul’s to battle for third place. First two boats safely in the afternoon finals. We quickly fed them recovery food and dispatched off to a hotel conference room to rest until the afternoon.

For G2 there were 18 schools in three heats to select 6 boats for the final. In the first heat the red monster, Exeter quickly stamped their control on the race leaving Bay View and Hanover to battle for the other place. In the second heat Hingham showed their new power beating Kent who took the second place. The third heat was a battle royal between Andover, St. Paul’s and Tabor. Our girl’s showed composure and determination to win by half a length over St. Paul’s who had 3 seats over Tabor. For the B2 races the first heat placed the new power house BC High against St. Paul’s and Exeter. This heat was significantly faster than the others. BC High won by 0.2 of a second over St. Paul's who edged out Exeter by 0.1 of a second. As the final was to show later, BC High still have extra in the tank. By comparison our heat was slower and simpler. We won over St. Johns by about a length who also had over a length on Brookline to crush their hopes of afternoon racing. The third heat was an easy win for Kent with Brunswick taking the last place in the final.

Our first boats were able to rise at a more civilized hour as their heats were just before lunch. The first girls’ heat saw St. Paul’s, coached by our own Luc Green, edge our Bay View by less than a deck who in turn sent Brookline to the Petite final by a quarter length. In the second heat Sally Morris’ Exeter G1 made it look routine to win by over a length with Tabor taking the second place well ahead of Hanover and Stonington. We were in the third heat battling with Hingham, Kent and NMH for places in the Grand and Petite Finals. My daughter has coxed a number of Serbian rowers at UW and they do not understand going easy in heats, every race is a race to the extreme. The Hingham girls displayed their coach's mentality by winning this heat by almost 2 lengths over Kent who in turn were over a length ahead of NMH. Our girls rowed well in the rough weather to come in fourth about 6 seats behind NMH and over a length ahead of Middleton. In the B1 first heat BC High and Tabor raced together to the finish leaving the rest of the field behind. Exeter was in our heat with Andover rowing strong and clean to win by about half a boat length ahead of Exeter who was open water ahead of the rest of the field. In the last heat Kent took the lead followed by Brunswick again with open water over the rest.

So by lunch time although everyone was cold and wet we were in a reasonable position for the afternoon finals. While the rowers were away at the hotel, the supporters did a gallant attempt at a cook out in the rain. I have to say I cannot remember a time when a cup of hot soup was so welcome and I am sure I could feel the heat moving from my mouth to the tips of my frozen toes.

After lunch the team started arriving back for the afternoon competition. There was a brief period of a brighter sky but the dementors seemed to push back with even darker skies and stronger winds.

Our G3 boat was optimistic and smiling as we pushed them off to race. This is the worst time for a coach. You spend the season on the water 20 feet from the rowers where you can encourage and advise them but at Interschols you have to wish them well and send them out with their coxswain in your place. You hope they rested correctly and followed the instructions on what to eat and then you pray. Our girls rowed as hard as possible but Kent and Exeter took a strong lead and St. Paul’s and Hanover also made a better speed to keep us to 5th place. This was good effort by our girls and they will return next year stronger. The B3 boat had the fastest speed in the morning at 4.38.1 and in the afternoon took Coach Hurley's exhortation, if you are not having fun, row harder, to heart and clocked in at 4.36.1 almost a boat length ahead of BC High and two lengths ahead of St. John’s.

I should say at this point we discovered that for the first time in anyone's memory there was a problem with the medal procurement and at the award ceremony the rowers were given small plates. When B3 returned to the dock one of the rowers dropped his plate into the water. Much distressed, he dunked himself in to retrieve the plate. Very few people have been this cold and smiling at the same time.

Our G2 boat Final read like a change of the guard with four of the old schools against the two new comers to the girls’ program. Exeter was the strong favorite and did not disappoint moving out to a quick lead followed by Kent. Andover was determined to be in the medals and the girls pulled out all the stops to fend off Hingham, St. Paul’s and Bay View. At the finish it was Exeter by a boat length over Kent who had almost a boat length over G2 who beat Hingham by about a third of a length. In the boys’ B2 final it was the newcomers BC High who proved the strongest. They had been only .2 of a second ahead of St. Paul’s in the morning heat but in the afternoon they were two boat lengths faster. BC High came in first. Our boys fought a tough battle with Kent for the silver and bronze but Kent bested them at the finish by a little over a deck. A tough race but a good result for our B2.

As the day wound down it was the turn of the G1 and B1 boats. Our G1 has been seeded 12th so they were expected to be last in the Petite Final. NMH took the lead and Hanover, Andover and Brookline battled for the middle places some distance ahead of E Lyme and Stonington. At the finish it was NMH by almost a length over Hanover who were about half a length over our G1 with open water back to the rest of the field. G1 performed better than their seeding place. Going into this season for the boys we had thought it might be a repeat of last year’s battle between Tabor and Andover but it was not to be. Some years boats have good starts or they have a sprint. Our B1 had developed a decent sprint but rough weather makes sprinting more difficult. We had a bad start and were down at the 500 mark. We could not make it up. Exeter took victory in the B1 race for the first time for many years but our finish was good enough to capture 2nd place in the team prize bring Andover boys record of five 1st and two 2nd places in the team prizes over the last 7 years. A record unmatched by other schools.

And so a cold, wet day brings another season to a close. We graduate another year of Andover crew athletes. Once again universities will receive a group of the best student athletes who will carry the passion and the friendships with them for life. I remember watching two teams on the winning dock at Eastern Sprints line up for the obligatory handshake and someone beside me expressed surprise when two opposing rowers hugged each and at IRAs when looks of shock were caused as a victorious Washington coxswain ran over and jumped into the arms of a Brown rower. The answer to the quizzical looks was that they rowed together for Andover.

The school, us parents and the boathouse are but incidental appendages to Andover Crew. The real Andover Crew spirit is with the students and the coaches on the water every day, every week of fall and spring crew. We are honored to share a glimpse.

For pictures from Interschols click link below

Pictures from NEIRA "improved" in Photoshop to remove some of the greyness.
Pictures of races at NEIRA 1a
Pictures of races at NEIRA 2a
Pictures of races at NEIRA 3a
Pictures of races at NEIRA 4a
Pictures of races at NEIRA 5a
More pictures from NEIRA "improved" in Photoshop to remove some of the greyness.
Pictures of races at NEIRA 1a
Pictures of races at NEIRA 2a

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NMH '13 races


Pictures from NMH May 18th
Pictures of races with NMH and Hingham Page 1
Pictures of races with NMH and Hingham Page 2
Pictures of races with NMH and Hingham Page 3
Pictures of races with NMH and Hingham Page 4
Pictures of races with NMH and Hingham Page 5

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Exeter-Tabor '13 races

This is combined Grandparent’s Day and races with Exeter, Tabor and Belmont with a dedication of a new launch in honor of Dr. Phil Dubois presented by a group of alumni from the early ‘60s. They shared they passion for crew and their fondness for their coach with the assembled 120 athletes. We started with a lunch for Dr. Dubois and his wife followed by the dedication. The group then watched the afternoon races. The whole event on land with team tents from the other schools and scores if supporters was very different from the rowing at the old boathouse in the 60s. The event on water was exactly the same, 9 people in a boat trying to go as fast as they could. A big thank you to Nadia Trant for helping with the alumni lunch. Our busy dock was run with military precision by our Bus driver Bob with Justin Yi ’06 and Michelle Darby ’07 who also tweeted our results real-time. The finish line was managed by the long time judge Peter McKallagat, helped by his son Greg ’03. Thanks also to the stake boat, the coaches and groundman, Paul, who helped clean up after the event. The sound system also ran much better this week and the commentary by Travis Metz ’87 was a big improvement over yours truly last week. It is wonderful to see alumni back helping with the races. The passion lives on. On the girls side we raced G1 to G5. We started with a G5 race against Exeter’s G5 and G6 as well a Tabor’s G5. Exeter’s G5 came in first followed by Andover over Exeter’s G6 and Tabor. The G4 race was dual race with only Exeter. It was a good tight race with Exeter getting out in front by about 6 seats at the finish. Exeter also took the G3 race by open water with Andover by open water over Tabor. The top two Exeter boats lived up to their reputation and rowed very impressive races taking both by open water. In the G2 race, Andover won over Tabor and the results were reversed in the G1 race. On the boys side we raced Exeter, Tabor and Belmont. We made a B7 race with Exeter hot-seating a couple of rowers. Andover took this race by open water. In the B6 race Andover won over Exeter and over the Tabor B4 boat. In the B5 Andover won with open water. Andover’s B4 won their race over Exeter and a Belmont B4. The B3 race was a four way battle with boats from all the schools with Andover winning by open water over Exeter over Belmont over Tabor. The B2 was a tighter race but Andover won over Exeter who had open water over Tabor. Tabor have a coach for each boat. A luxury we cannot afford. The B1 race was a repeat of the match up of last year with Tabor being coached by Taylor Washburn. This year the Tabor boat move out to a strong lead. There was a little excitement with the Exeter boat moving across into the Andover lane. This disrupted the Andover boat. This probably gave Tabor an even longer lead and Exeter took second place.

For pictures from Launch Dedication click
Launch Dedication .

Thanks to Lisa we have added more pictures of the races with Exeter, Tabor and Belmont.
For pictures from the Exeter's races click
Exeter, Tabor and Belmont Races Page 1 by Lisa.
Exeter, Tabor and Belmont Races Page 2 by Lisa.
Exeter, Tabor and Belmont Races Page 3 by Lisa.
Exeter, Tabor and Belmont Races Page 4 by Lisa.
Exeter, Tabor and Belmont Races Page 5 by Lisa.

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St. Paul's '13 races


For pictures from the St.Paul's Day click link below Thanks to Trant family we have added more pictures of the races with St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School at
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 1.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 2.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 3.

Thanks to Lisa we have added more pictures of the races with St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School at
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 1 by Lisa.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 2 by Lisa.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 3 by Lisa.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 4 by Lisa.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 5 by Lisa.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 6 by Lisa.
St. Paul's, CRI and Brooks School Races Page 7 by Lisa.

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Salisbury '13 races

Amelia, a girls’ coxswain did duty as dock master.
Usually a thankless task but essential to the smooth running of the races.
For the safety of all, the dock master has to help land the boats and keep supporters off the dock.
Our thanks also to Richard Kennelly who was responsible for updating our race board with the results and times.
In future weeks we will also need a volunteer to tweet the results for remote parents.
We also had live commentary from Coaches Washburn and Hurley with a sound system setup by Coach Hurley.

Andover and BC High fielded 7 boats while Salisbury brought along 4 boats. We started with the B7 race. The conditions were bright sunshine, flat water with a varying but very light wind. Ideal conditions. The B7 boats ran a clean tidy race staying together but Andover won by 5.5 seconds or a little of 1.5 boat lengths. These boats have some rowers who are new to the sport this spring. This was followed by the B6 race including a Salisbury boat to make it a 3 lane race. Andover again made the pace followed by BC High with open water back to Simsbury. The pattern continued with the B5 and B4 races with Andover getting the better of BC High boats that rowed very well. We should say at this point that there have been some changes in the boat lineups as coaches try to find combinations of rowers to make fast boats. The difference in the times of the boats indicate that the selections are generally good. The next race was B2. Until this race B2 was our best looking boat. This week B2 started out well but in the middle 500 m struggled to get the ratings up with smooth rowing. The BC High boat look very good and the Salisbury boat was very aggressive. This made for a very competitive race with BC High winning by over a boat length and Andover taking second place by half a boat length. Watching this race we knew our B1 would be in for a tough race especially with BC High. Our B1 boat was hungry for their first victory of the season. BC High badly wanted to win at Andover. The three boats took off with gusto and the race became as tight battle between BC High and Andover. As they drove to the finish line it was touch and go as to who would stretch out in the final 15 strokes. At the line after driving hard for almost 5 minutes it was Andover by 0.5 seconds or a deck and a couple of seats. It was an exciting and in the end a happy race. The last race was B3 who again pushed ahead and sealed the day for Andover with open water over BC High and Salisbury. It was a great day of racing with our old friends from Salisbury and our new friends from BC High. The BC High program with their depth and young aggressive coaching staff look set to become a powerhouse of league.


We have uploaded some pictures from Salisbury.
We have added pictures of the races WITH Salisbury & BC High at
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 1.
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 2.
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 3.
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 4.

Thanks to Lisa we have added more pictures of the races at
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 1 by Lisa.
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 2 by Lisa.
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 3 by Lisa.
Salisbury & BC High Races Page 4 by Lisa.

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Andover Exeter Invitational at Lake Quinsigamond '13

The weather started out cold and gray but improved as the day went on. The wind started off as a strong westerly across the course that played havoc with the floating starts. The coaches did their best but Mother Nature was not going to be tamed. The coxswains were severely strained trying to stay aligned for the start and pointing to the finish. Being off point will cost more seats than being off the start line.

All of our boats did very well in difficult circumstances, some of them exceptional well. B1 suffered from an very good start by Exeter and G1 suffered an overhead crab. An overhead crab will almost stop a boat but G1 recovered well and finished fourth. Without the crab they would have finished at least second. Overhead crabs happen to the best of rowers. The measure of a good boat is how fast they recover.
Well done everyone.



We have added pictures of the races at
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 1.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 2.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 3.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 4.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 5.

Plus these pictures by Lisa A.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 1 by Lisa.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 2 by Lisa.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 3 by Lisa.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 4 by Lisa.

Plus these pictures by David H.
Lake Quinsigamond Races Page 1 by David.

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Kent '13 races


We have posted pictures of the Kent races
Kent Races Page 1.
Kent Races Page 2.
Kent Races Page 3.
Plus these pictures by Lisa A.
Kent Races Page 1 by Lisa.
Kent Races Page 2 by Lisa.
Kent Races Page 3 by Lisa.
Kent Races Page 4 by Lisa.
Kent Races Page 5 by Lisa.
Kent Races Page 6 by Lisa.

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Racing April 6th Essex 2013

We woke up to the sun streaming in through the window to invite us all out on the water. Sadly it was a little bit of a trick. Yes the sun was shining but the wind was also doing a live demonstration of freeze drying. It was COLD!
The races today were the very first competitive race at the new boathouse. We have enjoyed the added comfort of the new facilities. Ninety five percent of the time the river by the new boathouse is better sheltered than the old race course. The wind and the mighty Merrimack conspired today to remind us that no matter what we do to have a soft life, nature decides the outcome.
The wind came in from a very unusual direction and combined with the current of the Merrimack to create giant white caps on the early part of the course. We had no option but to shorten the racecourse and start further down river for the earlier races. The freezing wind combined with the splashing spray to freeze our rowers a pale tint of blue. The rough weather also deposited a good quantity of freezing water in the boats that showered down on the rowers as they lifted the boats overhead.

Our G1 raced in the first competition of the day with the worst conditions. They struggled in the early rough water but looked clean and steady as they came past the island. Essex had an exceptional G1 that handled the rough conditions a little better and manage to win the race. Our girls looked good and should do better as we move through the season.
Our G2 and G3 boats did even better. The student population comes from across the world to their adopted home of New England. After a few short terms they become New England Andover rowers. Today G2 fought the weather like true New Englanders and beat it down to win by open water over Greater Lawrence with Essex taking third.
Our G3 followed the same hardy example and pushed through to finish 10 seconds over Greater Lawrence and Essex.
Our first boys race was the B3A and B3B racing with Essex. These boats rowed with great composure in the difficult water and wind. At one point it seemed as though the wind moved B3A sideways while still keeping it pointing towards the finish. Both boats finished within a length of each other and with open water over Essex.
Our B2 followed with a confident race taking several lengths of open water over Essex followed by Greater Lawrence. The B4A and B4B had slightly calmer water than the earlier boats. The B4A won with open water over Essex followed by B4B.
The grand finale of the first race day was the B1 competition over the full course length of slightly more than 1500 m. Again the start was in rough water that at times made boats appear as though they were stationary. The wing riggers could not stop the white caps breaking over the gunnels. B1 stayed focused and drove for the finish line to win by over 7 seconds over Essex followed by Greater Lawrence.

A special appreciation goes to the coaches for laying out the new course, the stake boat kids who were really shaken and frozen in the stake boats and to Peter McKallagat P'00 &'03 who setup the new finish line on Friday and shivered for 3 hours on watch today.
Thanks also to all the parents and grandparents who woke up at dawn to support the team and provide hot food. We hope to see even more of you at every race as we move through the season.
Click here for race results posted for girls and here for boys.

Pictures of our first Race against Essex and Greater Lawrence boat clubs.

The cold stretch
Pushing off

For more Essex and Lawrence pictures click here
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3

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Spring Crew



We have added pictures from pre-season rowing at
Page 1
Page 2.
Page 3
Page 4.

We hitched rides with the coaches and could only take pictures of the boats that came within shooting distance. We tried not to interfere with the practice. We owe a thank you to the coaches for giving up their Easter weekend to start the program early. The weather has been kind and river has been smooth. Also a big thank you to the Santoro family for catering Saturday dinner at the boathouse, something we could not have done at our old home.

Welcome to spring racing with Andover Crew. The early weeks of spring are a bit of a scramble as coaches struggle to assemble groups of 4 ports, 4 starboards and a coxswain into a racing machines. Fall is for fun, spring is all about speed.
A high school race is 1500 meters of continuous full blown exertion. Boats go fast when they have rhythm. That rhythm is sometimes elusive. You have to have the correct blend of eight balanced rowers. It takes great physical and mental strength to pour out every last drop of energy in search of the win.
Please remember that your rowers may be in different boats from week to week. Please ask them on Friday if they have been selected to race.
The rowers will only nibble on pre-race food before the race so they will be famished by the time they return to our boathouse. Our job as parents is to provide food as soon as they come off the water to replenish the energy lost in the race. Most parents live very far away and cannot come to the races every week although every year we have people who travel half way around the world to support our boats. We need every local parent to support our races. The boats go faster if there is a crowd yelling GO BLUE! So come on down!
It is wonderful if you volunteer to help but much more important is that you are there to support your favorite rower.

See you by the river!

Rowing is a team sport. There is no concept of MVP. It is all about the boat and the greater team. The top G1 and B1 boats are made faster by all the rowers below pushing them to justify their places in the top boats. When any boat captures gold at Interschols they are representing the whole team.
Coaches start out with their best guess at boat groupings. They observe the melding of the crew. They make changes to improve the speed. Eventually they may “seat race” the last couple of places in a boat. This means swapping rowers in and out of the boat to see who can make the difference. Spring racing is serious, there is no room for personal preference. Only boat speed matters.

The same philosophy applies to coxswains although it is a little more difficult for the casual observer to see and understand. The first requirement of a coxswain is boat safety. The first racing requirement is to steer well in all circumstances. This is not as simple as it sounds. A 60 ft shallow draught boat is wobbled by unbalanced rowers, pulled off course by currents and blown off course by winds. A long thin boat reacts slowly to steering corrections. A good coxswain looks ahead to sense currents and winds to ensure the best true line to the finish. There is always a race plan but the opposition sometimes has other ideas so a good coxswain has to modify the race plan on the fly. So in one of these serious spring races, the coxswain is steering, calling the rowing rate, watching for changes ahead, telling the boat their position in the race and trying to urge them on with calls that connect with their deep down inner strength. There needs to be a bond of trust between the rowers and the coxswain. All of our Andover coxswains are brilliant. On the water only the coach and crew can tell which coxswain fits best with each boat.

As we work through the spring the top boats are usually stable but the lower boats are changed around from week to week as rowing skills improve. Coxswains in the lower boats are also swapped around to try and share the racing experience. The goal of the season is to create top boats that win medals at Interschols and beyond and lower boats that acquire the racing skills to move up in the coming years.

The kids work very, very hard every day on the Merrimack in rain, hail and even snow. Hours of freezing cold, painful muscles and nasty looking hand blisters. All for a race that last about 6 minutes. That is 6 minutes of extreme effort and pain with glory or failure at the end.

So what can parents do? Provide support and encouragement. Share your amazement at their efforts and if you live within traveling distance you can come to the races to yell “Go Blue!” Everyone is very welcome at all the races. The rowers might not always express it very well but they really do appreciate supporters on the river bank. Of course we guarantee bright sunshine for every race.

Races at home and away are almost full day events. The rowers have to eat very carefully before the races and are always ravenous afterwards. The parents organize a food table for the rowers so that each boat can eat as soon as they have stowed their racing shell after the race. We need a group of volunteers to organize and run the food tables at the races. We will post a menu before each race and look for parents to sign up to bring the food. We have about 7 major races plus Interschols. Four of these are home races. We will need a pair of volunteers each week to be responsible for running the food table. Hopefully we will have enough volunteers to spread this load. If you are willing and able to help organize and run the tables please email We have a number of other volunteer tasks such as finish line judge, tweeting results and taking photographs that will need to be filled.

The racing season is HERE! On Saturday April 6th we will open our season with a race against the local Essex rowing club. Now it is parents turn to start the season. Please jump to

to sign up to support the food table and other volunteer race day functions. We can assure you that every race day will be bright sunshine and 70 degrees. After all this is April 1st.

Early Spring Crew

The boys are preparing for racing season under the watchful eye of Coach Washburn.


For more pictures from erg training click link below
Pre-Season erging.

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Boathouse News - September 23rd, '12 Dedication Day

The dedication will be on September 23rd. Everyone is welcome to celebrate the opening and house warming of the new boathouse.
We will start the day with an early morning row at 6.30am followed by the dedication at 9 am and a light breakfast. The boathouse will remain open for anyone who wants to row after the dedication or just hang around and feel the spirit of the new home for Andover Crew. Please sign in at this link to make sure we have the correct numbers for breakfast.
Dedication Sign-in

The boathouse is almost complete. Only a few last details remain to be done. The new docks are in. They are everything you would wish for in a set of docks. The only problem is that the rookie coxswains will need to be even more careful not to crash into these docks. The will not be gentle on a boat.
The boat bay is clean and the racks are assembled. The cox box storage area is the best I have seen in many a boathouse. We will have plenty of space to store the launches in the winter and during the season this space makes for very easy access to the boat racks.
What will appear as a complete luxury to the alumni are the addition of changing rooms for visitors and the great and toilets for ourselves. The boathouse has also given us a place to display our history. One wall will have team pictures from all the years. We still need originals of a few years. Another wall will honor team members for their achievements or sacrifices on our behalf.
A fun addition to the furniture are two coffee tables made from sections of a wooden racing boat and two bookshelves made from the stern and the bow.

We have added new pictures of the boathouse construction to the boathouse page.
Here is the link to the Boathouse page NWRendition

A HUGE thank you to the Andover Crew family of Alumni, past parents and present parents. We started out 2011 with approval for a boathouse project. The goal of raising $6.5 million in the prevailing economic climate seemed daunting. Oscar Tang took the lead in the campaign assisted by the fund raising staff of the school and a group of volunteers. The campaign included mailed information, emails, phone calls and personal visits.

The building season in New England is spring to fall. The building program is projected to take 6 months. We needed to have most of the 6.5 million in hand to start the project. Thanks to the fund raising efforts and the generosity of the Andover Crew family we have raised $5.5 million in time for the school to agree to allow the program to go ahead in the pring.
We still need to reach the final goal of $6.5 million for completion. If you need help or assistance in making a donation please contact Ann Harris at 978-749-4312 and or Sam Darby at 978-975-4152 and There are still some naming opportunities.

There are three major parts of the project. The building, the site and the docks. The building has operated as a truck dealership. The shell will be stripped down, cleaned and refurbished to house a workshop, boat bays, coach facilities, changing rooms for visiting crews and a large multi-function room that could host an erg practice or training course or an alumni dinner. The site is in sad shape and needs extensive work including re-creation of wetlands, re-grading and tarmac. Last but not least we have to build docks out into the Merrimack to launch our racing boats.

We hope to have all this completed by the fall. If all of our gods smile on us we should be able to throw a party in late September to officially open the boathouse. Mark your calendars now! The boathouse will be a utilitarian racing facility but we want to wrap it in the rowing tradition of Andover. The great room seems to be the best place to do this. We might have team pictures, oars from great races or audio of coxswains’ calls. All suggestions welcome!

It has been a long 5 years since the idea of a new boathouse was first broached. When Coach Brown was asked for his advice he said "just start the program and don't worry about when it will finish". We are sad that we lost him before we managed to finish but it will be a fitting home for his active positive spirit that is embodied in Andover Crew.

Below are some pictures of the early work. Please go to the Boathouse page for more recent updates.

March 10th: The contractor has started to prepare the river bank for the installation of the new docks. This inlcuded removing some trees for access the docks. We have added a few more pictures:
Clearing access to the Merrimack
Making ready for the new docks

March 3rd: The dream is real. Work has started on the new site. The site has been fenced. All the surface garbage has been removed. The inside has been cleared to a bare empty sad metal shell. More pictures of this phase are posted on Boathouse Phase 1a
Dozer and digger ready to start
Inside has been gutted to an empty shell

Sept 2012: The dream is fulfilled. The new boat house is completed.
New Boat House
New Boat House

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Spring Schedule

To live is to row, to row is to race, to race is to test the limits. NEIRA beckons.


A Call to Oars:
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To the full height. On, on, you noblest rowers.
Whose limbs were made in New England show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'Go for myself, my family and Andover Crew!'
(Mostly from Henry V Act 3 Scene 1)
- Apologies to Will Shakespeare.

Proposed Andover Spring Racing Schedule 2013 (Times/boats may change)
Date Day Team Opponent Site Time
06-Apr-2013 Sat Boys B1-B4 Essex & Lawrence Home 9 am
06-Apr-2013 Sat Girls G1-G3 Essex & Lawrence Home 9 am
13-Apr-2013 Sat Boys B1-B5 Kent Away 3 pm
13-Apr-2013 Sat Girls G1-G4 Kent Away 3 pm
20-Apr-2013 Sat Boys B1-B5 St. John's,Simsbury,Exeter Away 1 pm
20-Apr-2013 Sat Girls G1-G4 Simsbury,Exeter Away 1 pm
27-Apr-2013 Sat Boys B1-B7 Salisbury & BC High Home? 1 pm
27-Apr-2013 Sat Girls B1-B? TBD Home 1 pm
4-May-2013 Sat Boys B1-B6 St. Paul's & CRI Home2 pm
4-May-2013 Sat Girls G1-G5 St. Paul's & CRI Home 2 pm
11-May-2013 Sat Boys B1-B7 Tabor-Exeter Home 1 pm
11-May-2013 Sat Girls G1-G5 Tabor-Exeter Home 1 pm
18-May-2013 Sat Boys B1-B7 N.M.H. & Hingham Away 1 pm
18-May-2010 Sat Girls G1-G5 N.M.H. & Hingham Away1 pm
25-May-2010 Sat Boys B1-B3 Interscholastics (NEIRA) Away 8 am
25-May-2010 Sat Girls G1-G3 Interscholastics (NEIRA) Away 8 am
The number of boats depends the other schools. We hope to add additional races for the lower boats.

For past years' results go to Row2k results and enter the year.

The times listed are approximate times for the first racing boat to go on the water. The teams and supporters arrive about an hour earlier to setup for the races.

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