Space Coast Crew experiences disappointment at Head of the Hooch

Calmly and drowsily, the Tennessee River wound its way for miles ahead into the horizon. Oblivious to the gathered mass of rowing teams waiting to tear through its waters, the river moved idly ever onwards. Then, with a shout from its crew, a boat shot forward, breaking the serenity for over two days to come. The Head of the Hooch Regatta, the second biggest rowing race in the nation, had begun. Held annually on Nov. 2 and 3 in Chattanooga, TN this event attracted over 2045 boats with 188 crews this year. A few of these teams were from the local Space Coast Crew club.

Space Coast Crew did well this year in the Men’s Youth 4+, with their two teams for that event coming in 26th and 29th place out of 66. In the Men’s Youth 8+, their teams came in 28th and 46th place out of 61. In the Women’s Youth 8, they came in 43rd out of 60.

“It was pretty fun and it was really tough because we were going up against a lot of crews that we’ve never gone against before from other states,” Anthony Desantes, a varsity member of Space Coast Crew, said.

Then the rankings dropped in some of the later races. In the Women’s Youth 4+, they came in 56th and 63rd out of 66 total teams. In the Men’s Youth 2X, they came in 44th out of 49th. In the Men’s Youth Lightweight 8+, they came in 21st out of 29th.

“I think the problem was we just didn’t have the confidence going into the races,” Gordon Wiles, another member of varsity, said. “It’s a really big race with over 60 teams there, and I think we just got overwhelmed by the whole situation and we weren’t focused enough when it came to race time. I think we did well overall, but we could’ve done better.”

Regardless of placing, the event still turned out to be a weekend of fun.

“It felt good to be out there,” Wiles said. “It was a really cool environment, we were able to pull together and just row as a crew and get out there. It just felt good to be out there. It feels good every time you go on the water.”

Though Wiles and Desantes are a little disappointed at how the team did this year, both of them predict that next time will go better.

“Everybody’s really committed this year and we’re putting in a lot of effort,” Desantes said.