Crew prepares for Tennessee race

Members of the Space Coast Crew team have an intense week ahead, filled with workouts to prepare for the nation’s second largest regatta held in Chatanooga, TN., on Nov. 3. The team will join 1,200 other teams rowing in “Head of The Hooch.”

Vianca Rivera, a fourth-year rower, said she’s looking forward to returning to the race

“My favorite part about Hooch is the scenery,” she said. “Down the race course you can see beautiful houses and trees, especially in the fall.”

While last year temperatures registered in the low 40s — and have sometimes been even lower — Rivera said does not believe the cold weather will affect her rowing.

“For me personally, I’ve lived up in north Virginia for a few years, so I know how to dress for the weather to stay comfortable,” she said. “As long as it doesn’t rain, the cold weather is fun and gives me a great excuse to wear character beanies.”

Chatanooga is about an 11-hour drive away and some rowers will be taking a flight to Atlanta, and then driving the two and a half hours from the airport to get to Chatanooga. Claire Goffinet, a sophomore and second-year rower, will be driving with her family.

“It will probably be really boring,” she said. “I will be really nervous, but hopefully I will gets some homework done. I will mostly sleep.”

Because novices are not permitted to compete in “Head of the Hooch,”  many of the team’s second-year rowers will be competing in this race for the first time.

“I hope first-time rowers will be able to experience everything I’ve been able to experience,” Rivera said. “I think they will really love it and hopefully will pass down certain team traditions, such as cardboard box sledding, to future rowers.”

Goffinet said she’s looking for to the races which are scheduled to start on Nov. 3 and continue through Nov. 4.

“Crew is not about the competition for me as much as it is about rowing, doing my best and getting better,” she said.

By Evy Guerra