Some of our fall rowers aspire to make one of the varsity eights in the spring, while others just want to try something new. Either way, the fall season provides exciting, fun competition and instruction for those who are new to the sport. These new rowers benefit from the experience of more seasoned rowers, who also have the opportunity to row in fours and single shells during the instructional season. Fall athletes practice four afternoons a week, with no Saturday commitment. Our emphasis in the fall focuses on teaching novices the fundamentals of the rowing stroke, refining the skills of experienced rowers, increasing fitness levels, and having fun. On most Friday afternoons, we hold intramural races of some kind. On Family Weekend, rowers’ families are invited to the boathouse to watch their students row their hardest in friendly races past the dock.
In the spring, the emphasis is on racing. For each team, we fill two varsity-level eights and one junior varsity eight that race against other schools each weekend. Our fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, and sometimes eighth eights focus primarily on instruction and training and have just three to five interscholastic racing opportunities. New England arguably boasts some of the fastest high school crews in the country, and the Andover boys’ and girls’ eights are always extremely competitive with the other top teams in our league (the NEIRA). Our crews typically qualify for the finals at the New England Championship Regatta each year, and we have won our fair share of medals over the years.