Space Coast Crew sinks Melbourne

Space Coast Crew’s men’s lightweight 4-plus won a bronze medal and  the overall team defeated arch-rival Melbourne High in five of six races at the First Coast Head Race held in Jacksonville  on Oct. 13.

In the week leading up to the race, Melbourne High and Space Coast held scrimmages at Oars and Paddles Park in Indian Harbour Beach, home of the Space Coast’s boathouse. Several rowers said the scrimmages were a good way to assess the competition before the season opener.

Olivia Humphrey, the Space Coast Crew Women’s team captain, and a junior at West Shore, said she left the practice race feeling good.

“We learned a lot from the race, we now know what we need to improve on and how we can do better at Jacksonville’s head race, so I’m optimistic for that and also for Hooch,” she said in reference to the regional regatta held in Chattanooga, TN., each Fall.

Humphrey rows in the Varsity 8, and raced against the Melbourne High Varsity 8 and their Novice 8. Unfortunately, they did not win their scrimmages, but were still looking forward to the head race in Jacksonville where they hoped to do better.

Cole Montgomery, a second year coxswain, and sophomore at West Shore, also had a positive outlook on the races.

“The scrimmages proved our practicing has been working well, but we still have much to work on to prepare for the head races this fall,” he said.

Sharing a boathouse is seldom easy, but rowers on both sides cooperated.

“They were actually pretty good guests around the boathouse,” said Alec Luker, a fourth year rower on Space Coast Crew, and senior at West Shore. “They didn’t really make it feel crowded on land, which can happen with too many boats trying to launch at once. I barely even knew they were there while we were on land.”

Alec rows in the Men’s Varsity 8, and raced against Melbourne High’s Men’s Varsity 8. On Monday they raced and won. They raced again on Thursday and lost.

Saturday marked Space Coast Crew’s first official competition of the season,  a head race in Jacksonville.

“I definitely think we should have more scrimmages like this in the future,” Montgomery said. “I believe it was great practice for both teams and gave a nice glimpse of our competition for the season.”

The team will make it’s annual journey to Head of the Hooch in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Nov. 1st and compete in the second largest head racing regatta in the country.

By Evy Guerra