6 NRC Rowers Hammer Away at CRASH-Bs
What could be better at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning than to head to Boston to compete in one of the world's most exciting indoor rowing championships?
Six NRC rowers did just that, the culmination of six weeks of training in the Winter Conditioning for Rower's program. They were the largest ever contingent to represent NRC at C.R.A.S.H. B's.
Their efforts were nothing less than courageous. It was the first-ever indoor rowing 2K sprint competition for Bethany Bonner, Carol Edwards, Maureen Hicks and Abby Wilson. Annette Barbay had competed in her first at the Connecticut Indoor Championships in late January and the third B's for Phil Butta, who also
And what a place to start.
It's a little intimidating walking into the Agganis Arena at Boston University and seeing 300 ergs spread out across the arena floor. It was the 35th anniversary of the B's and more than 2,000 rowers competed, representing hundreds of schools and rowing clubs.
The B's are truly an international event with rowers from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Denmark, England, Germany, Cyprus, Spain, France, Italy and Finland.
The NRC six were up to the task, pushing themselves hard with support from coaches Annette, Phil and Liz Salesky, Carol's daughter. Several said afterward that their race seemed to go by so fast. Once the word "ROW" flashed on their erg screens, the noise and distractions seemed to fade away as rowers settled in to carry out their race plans.
The day's top finishers smiled broadly as they received their medals on the awards
platform, but seemed even more excited about hoisting the claw hammers they also took home.
What was up with these hammers? "The Hammer" reference was everywhere, displayed on souvenir race t-shirts, banners and programs.
Turns out "The Hammer" is considered the soul of the B's, a symbol of the "blunt, decisive and unsparing" nature of the competition. Those who rowed would understand the connection as soon as they finished, completely spent.