Jacobs Rowing Team Goes International

The young rowing team from Jacobs University could previously only be found at German regattas in wide gig-boats. However, since last weekend they have proven not only that they can compete at the international level but that they can do so in racing boats.
After a mere handful of training sessions in their new eight (thanks again to the sponsor Lürssen) the men of the rowing team displayed their proficiency in commanding the narrow racing boat at the Head of the River Amstel and showed that they are on the right path to defend the Hanse Rowing Cup in May. The women asserted their skills in the racing boat as well, competing in a double four against, among others, the Dutch national team, which for the ladies was truly an honor.
The trip to Amsterdam on Saturday morning was undertaken with strict adherence to German spontaneity and creativity. Without road maps or a navigation system the team caravanned from the Jacobs campus the entire way to the Regatta track on the Amstel. They even successfully detoured across downtown Amsterdam to the central station to pick up Jake, a recent reinforcement from Lafayette University. Many thanks also go out to Tim Laube. With his experience and watchful eye the former junior world champion runner-up in the eight gave the team confidence and strength for the regatta as well as for future training sessions. In the afternoon the boats were rigged and became acquainted with the Amstel and the racing course. The eight kilometer route began nearly in the city center and continued out into the flat green pastures of the Dutch countryside.
Afterwards, the team continued into the city guided by nothing but German intuition and found the accommodations and then went out for a relaxing walk around the beautiful Amsterdam center. Here the team then stocked up on the necessary vitamins and carbohydrates for the next day’s race and finished it off with a midnight stroll around the Red-Light District.
The next morning brought a beautiful spring sun and blue skies and everyone was in high spirits for the race. The men went first, and, thanks to the command and cool composure of coxswain Aenne, they mastered the 8km of curves, bridges and neck-and-neck battles safely and crash-free. Alas, the most important goal was reached. The ladies handled the course with confidence and precision as well, despite technical steering problems and their daunting professional competitors. Both crews then returned through the canals to the Roeivereniging Amstel to load the boats for the return trip, where all enjoyed a celebratory beer and boxed lunch.
The Jacobs University Rowing Team will return again but with a goal beyond bringing back the boat back in one piece. Next time they will be fighting for a medal!
For more pictures from the event, please check the Gallery page.
Lars Schroeder and Steven Davis

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