ACRA Action


This post is a few days later than I wanted, and will likely be the last for the current iteration of the website. We will be doing some upgrades both cosmetically and on the backend, hopefully to be completed by the end of the month.

Lake Lanier – Gainesville, GA – upper 80s to 90s with Thunderstorms – Buoys + Stakes

Links: Livestream | Results

After a long and grueling season the Aggies brought their best down to Gainesville for the ACRA Championship Regatta. As mentioned previously, this would be a historically significant one with opportunities to see both the fastest V8 in decades, the first full novice eight in years, and a 2V8 looking for a third straight grand final appearance.

Day 1 – Time Trial Morning

To kick things off, UMass sent out the V8 for a time trial. Top 16 boats would advance to the A/B semifinal with the remainder to a C/D final. Conditions were great, aside from a boat that waked the top 10 crews, but they pushed onwards nonetheless. UMass edged out a 4th place finish, a hair ahead of BC and only 3.1 seconds off of 2nd place. This would be the best start to ACRA for the V8 ever.

The 2V8 time trial would follow, with all crews heading to an A/B semi, where UMass finished 6th (6:00.0), just behind BC and UNC and just 0.4 seconds ahead of Washington State. In a very strange turn of events, #1 ranked Virginia would finish 9th, opening opportunities for UMass, UNC, BC and Notre Dame to make a run at that top spot against Michigan and UCSB.

The N8 continued this strong showing in the time trials, tying BC and Minnesota for a 9th place finish, all with a time of 6:05.4. With all three eights breaking the top 10, UMass propelled the program into the afternoon with high spirits.

The N4 followed one event later with a 19th place finish, just a few seconds off VA Commonwealth and Vanderbilt. Although they didn’t break top 10, this was a solid finish for a crew that underwent some significant lineup and coaching changes throughout the season. Props to Jene and her band of idiots (to take a page out of the 2004 Red Sox’s book) for their display of resilience and fight over the course of the year!


Day 1- Semifinal Afternoon

The V8 improved upon an already fantastic start with a 3rd place showing in the first semifinal. Top 4 crews advance to the grand final, marking this the first year a UMass V8 has made the grands at ACRA ever! Led by sophomore Yara Akkeh, freshman Joseph Wenzel, and anchored by grizzled veterans Jake Savona and George “P.I.” Meltzer, the V8 mixed both old and young to have a stellar crew.

The 2V8 continued this trend by making their third straight grand final, coming in 3rd just behind UCSB and Notre Dame. Despite being riddled with injuries, the 2V8 launched off the line, holding onto 1st place as long as they could before UCSB and ND turned up the heat towards the end.

The N8 finished 7th, which initially may seem disappointing, but they only finished 6 seconds out of 3rd place, with some very fast crews in between them. This freshman class has displayed extreme potential and will make next year a real treat to witness.

The N4 finished exactly 1 second off of Colorado in their C final, with a respectable 4th place finish. Again, this boat had seen it all and looks towards next year with potential on their side.


Day 2 – The Finals

The N8 finished 5th in their B final, 3.624 seconds off those pesky Minnesota freshmen. It will be interesting to see how they fare next year, anchored by one of the fastest freshmen in recent years, Kedar “Stop Talking About That Time I Single-Handedly Stopped a Knife Attack on a Bus” Seetal.

The 2V8 also finished 7th, beating their initial seed by 1 and only 3 seconds off their place last year. Their finish felt much like the end to the Celtics season, one marked by overcoming some spectacular setbacks. At one point this year, the boat had only 2 healthy bodies. Here’s to 2019, and going for 4 straight appearances!

To cap it off, the V8 decided to also finish 7th. The Aggies finished just over half a second behind a top 5 finish, just a smidge off of Orange Coast and Notre Dame. For a first grand final showing ever, a new page in UMass history was written, with high hopes for the next few years as the program looks to get even faster.


Overall, it was an amazing end to an amazing season. 5th and 7th place finishes to the top three crews in their respective finals, 2 grand final showings, and some serious runs at some serious money for a very serious program looking only to get more serious next year. To all 12 of our graduating seniors, and our assistant coach Tom Siddall, thank you very much for all you’ve done. This senior class had the opportunity to do something very special and they did: graduate as the best and largest senior class in recent memory while also recruiting the best and biggest freshman class in as many years.

Here’s to another year of spectacular racing!

Eight Time Trials

Eight Semifinals

Eight Finals

Novice 4


NERC Notes


Regatta Point – Worcester, MA – 70s and lots of wind in lots of directions – Buoys + Stakes

Close, but no cigar. At the New England Regional Championships, the UMass Men fought hard and long but ended up just 0.2 seconds away from a strong third place finish in the V8 grand final. The 2V8 also found themselves in the grand final, and just edged out WPI for a fifth place finish.

To start, the 3V8 came into NERC following of a string of solid races, hoping to make a splash just before Dad Vail. Led by Kedar Seetal, who just days before fended off a bus knife attack, the 3V8 pushed past URI but fell out of the grand final with an 8th place finish in their time trial. The crew regrouped and pulled off a respectable 2nd place finish in the petite final six seconds off Tufts B.

Over in the 2V8 heat, spectators were treated to a long and tough battle between Wesleyan, Colby and UMass before Wesleyan and UMass pushed through Colby’s (very) strong start. After advancing to the grand final just behind Wesleyan, the UMass 2V8 had to pull a bloody brutal backbreaking burst of speed in order to edge out a disappointing, yet still fast finish in fifth.

The V8 also found themselves in a brutal battle against two strong crews (USCGA and Tufts), but pulled out a first place finish in their heat with a time just a hair over six minutes. Advancing into the grand final, the Aggies threw the kitchen sink at Williams, WPI and BC, ultimately coming up just 0.224s short of a medal. Regardless, it was a strong showing for a fast UMass crew.

All-in-all, it was a solid day of racing for UMass and congratulations to BC for a strong 3V8 showing and Bates for blowing the doors off of everyone in the V8 and 2V8. On to Dad Vail!

McGee Cup Results


DRC – Shrewsbury, MA – 60s and sunny with slight to moderate headwind – Buoys + Stakes

Another strong day of racing for the UMass men. With an slight headwind under 10mph, the V8, 2V8 and 3V8 battled it out against Boston College, Coast Guard, and WPI.

Results on Row2k show just how close a battle it was, with the 3V8 just missing 2nd place behind BC B, and the 2V8 slipping ahead of WPI by 0.99 seconds. In the V8, UMass settled in right behind a very fast BC crew and ahead of WPI and Coast Guard.

Great racing across the board, with BC sweeping every event followed closely behind by UMass. Looking forward to NERCs, UMass hopes to push by BC in what will surely be an exciting battle.

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