With cold weather conditions living up to the race’s name, the Philadelphia Frostbite Regatta saw the University of Delaware finish their fall campaign with three golds, one silver, and three bronze medals. Rather than the traditional 5000 meter head race style of fall racing, this regatta is a 2000 meter sprint race, which allows the rowers to get a taste of spring racing before winter. Starting off the day, the Heavyweights entered three Varsity Fours.
Blasting off to an early lead, the “A” crew of Trunley, Field, Ruggiero, Rumaker, and Filby maintained their advantage all the way down the course, winning by open water. Similarly, the “B” boat of Montreuil, Gaydosh, Fraser, Canning, and Appelman performed the same with a massive margin between themselves and the second place Temple boat. The “A” and “B” shells turned in the fastest two times of the day. Finally, the “C” crew of Bennett, Razzi, Lamb, Johnson, and Goodman crossed the line in third. Following the Fours racing, the lightweights took to the course.
Firing on all cylinders out of the gates in the Junior Varsity Eight category, the Second Varsity Lightweight Eight took a two seat lead over Drexel by the 500 meter mark and dueled with the Dragons down to the finish line. Freshman coxswain Santiago Ugas and junior stroke seat Edoardo Frezza led the furious charge across the line to nip Drexel by 0.83 seconds, or one seat. Delaware crossed the finish buoys in 6:23.85 with Drexel at 6:24.68 and third place Temple at 6:44.75. After the Second Eight, Delaware “C”, the Third Varsity Lightweight Eight, finished their flight in third behind the “B” entries of Drexel and Temple. With the Junior Varsity events completed, the two Delaware Varsity Eights launched for the final race of the day.
After a short turnaround from the Fours, the two winning heavyweight crews combined to form the Eight. Lining up against the Temple Lightweight Eight and Drexel “B”, the Varsity Heavyweight Eight took a three seat lead over the Dragons out of the blocks. The crew struggled to hit a solid base rate as they finished up the start and began to falter, falling four seats behind Drexel and open water behind Temple at the 900m mark.
Senior coxswain Jake Filby called for a move to lengthen out the rate and find more connection at the front end of the stroke, and the shell began to move as the stern pair of James Trunley and Kyle Rumaker settled into a sharper rhythm for the second thousand meters. Almost instantly, the crew shot out over Drexel and had open water with 500m to go and now trailed Temple by only one length. Sprinting at 42 strokes per minute, the Heavyweights closed the gap to eight seats, finishing behind the Owls’ lightweight entry by 3.6 seconds. After a fall season with a new coach, style of rowing, and training plan, this was the first step towards the Heavyweight program recapturing the success they demonstrated at the end of the 2017 spring season. Following up on their heavier counterparts, the Varsity Lightweight Eight lined up against Drexel’s “A” entry and Temple’s heavyweights.
After experimenting with the lineup and race plan in the week leading up to the Frostbite, the combination of McCullough, Pereira, Hurley, Kungl, AbuAwad, Marello, Bacharach, Beardell, and Snow completed the 2000 meter course in third place with a time of 6:16.95. Temple won in 6:09.57 with Drexel behind of the Owls at 6:13.04. Moving forward, the team will plug away on the water as long as they can before temperatures force the Hens to move indoors. The squad will line up again for competition at the end of March 2018.