A Perfect Balance

Photos by Hannah Dawes

Bowdoin Crew on the New Meadows River

Bowdoin rowers hone their hard cores between the rocky shores of the New Meadows River, arguably among the most picturesque and harsh home waters of any crew in the country, a harmonious blend of beauty and beast that has helped propel the team to recent top finishes in regional, national, and international competition.

Rowing was the first intercollegiate sport contested in the United States and it is the oldest at Bowdoin, dating back to 1858. Crew was a varsity sport at the College in the 1870s and 80s but was sunk by the popularity of football. It resurfaced in the 1980s as a club sport and, for the past decade, Bowdoin rowing has achieved a remarkable medal count in intercollegiate competition. Rowing takes a hardy physical and mental constitution and never more so than here in Maine, where the tidal waters that Bowdoin Crew calls home, while scenic, are often equally punishing. Despite the gut-wrenching nature of their sport, rowers often speak about their love of rowing. The self-sacrifice of teammates moving in perfect synchronization with each other creates a strong and lasting camaraderie, and many life lessons can be gleaned from a Power 10 on the choppy waters of the New Meadows in March.

Alaina Thomas '09, the stroke seat of the Novice Women's Four, sets the pace for the rest of the boat during a spring practice.