The Hobart and William Smith Colleges rowing teams will begin their fall seasons on Saturday, Oct. 6, when they host the HWS Challenge on the Canal. In addition to the Statesmen and Herons, the 4-kilometer head race on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal will feature crews from Ithaca, St. John Fisher and Canisius.
Racing begins at 9:30 a.m. with the men’s varsity eight, followed by the men’s second varsity eight and the men’s novice four. The women’s races get underway at 10:10 a.m. with the varsity eight and second varsity eight.
A men’s and women’s open event for coxless pairs and quads will break up the traditional eights at 10:50 a.m. The final four collegiate races will be the men’s novice eight, men’s varsity four, women’s novice eight and women’s varsity four.
The day’s racing concludes with a trio of Hobart alumni eights racing down the course at 12:40 p.m.
There are two large areas available for spectators to view the events. The finish line is located in front of the Hellstrom Boathouse on East Avenue, while Inland Harbor Marina is at the midpoint of the race course.
Parking at Hellstrom Boathouse and along East Avenue is extremely limited. Spectators are asked to be respectful of the area’s residents. Do not park on lawns or block driveways. Additional parking is available at Peppy’s/Emile’s and at Lowe’s with a van shuttling fans from those lots to Hellstrom Boathouse throughout the morning and early afternoon.
The Statesmen, led by senior captains Coty Burgess and Nathaniel Shils, return all nine members of last season’s varsity eight as well as seven members of the second varsity eight. Hobart won its seventh consecutive Liberty League Championship and teamed with William Smith to capture the Colleges’ first all-points trophy at the New York State Championships.
“We’re excited to get the season underway,” Hobart Head Coach Paul Bugenhagen said. “The men have been working hard since the school year began and now they can begin to see some reward of their efforts.”
The Herons, under the leadership of senior captains Laura Cappio, Kim Goral, and Sarah Gordon, welcome back seven members of their varsity eight and seven in the second varsity eight. William Smith is also the defending Liberty League Champion. The Herons earned four medals at the state championships and finished fourth at the NCAA Championship.
“The Challenge on the Canal gives us a chance to see what our base speed is and shows us where we can make improvements over the next several weeks,” William Smith Head Coach Sandra Chu, the 2012 Division III National Coach of the Year, said.