Rowing Returns to the Schuylkill


Rowing is back in action in Philadelphia. (Courtesy of Fordham Athletics)

The Fordham women’s rowing team made their long-awaited return to the water on Saturday, March 26 in the Jesuit Invitational Regatta in Philadelphia. The event, hosted by St. Joseph’s University, serves as a key race in setting the tone for the spring season. While Fordham only competed against one other team in the Atlantic 10 Conference (Saint Joseph’s), the race still allowed the team to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to measure their improvement from the fall season.

Fordham fielded five boats at the regatta, competing in various events throughout the day. All races at the event ran a 2K course on a straight stretch of the Schuylkill River, which was unfortunately plagued with difficult weather. The wind averaged 15 mph throughout the day, with strong gusts pushing back on the boats as they tried to row downstream. The premier Varsity Eight boat placed first among the competition, beating out Fairfield University by just 0.6 seconds with a stellar time of 7:20.5. The second Varsity Eights’ outing was a much more dominant performance, finishing first with a full two second lead over the second-place finisher, Fairfield. The Novice Eight boat competed in a head-to-head match-up with Fairfield, unfortunately coming up short in the race by nearly 25 seconds.

Fordham also entered two boats in the Varsity Four events. The Varsity Four finished last in their race, yet still put up a respectable time of 8:16.2. The second Varsity Four had much better luck on the water, finishing first in the B final, well ahead of the competition from Loyola Maryland and Saint Joseph’s.

Team morale was high after the race, with many on the team feeling pleased with their performance. Margarita McCoy, a junior member of the team, shared her thoughts on the regatta, stating that the event “showed that the team has a lot of depth, and it gave us a good idea of where we are as we head into the season. It showed us how we can improve in preparation for the A-10 Championships at the end of the season.”

With the first break of the water behind them, Fordham looks ahead to April 9, where they will compete in the Knecht Cup in New Jersey.