Meet the champs!

Lots of waking up early, slugging it out at far-away meets, pushing it way harder than they expect to. Such is the life of your average crew team. At least your average crew team that has varsity status.

The Rhinebeck girls crew doesn’t. They’re a non-profit program run by Rhinebeck parents and supported by donations.
And they still managed to take the Novice 8 Eastern State Championship on May 18 in Newburgh.

“Outstanding,” Rhinebeck girls crew head coach Ralph Bosco told The Observer, “Going into it, I reminded them that they were the boat to beat. I told them to push for it, and that if they wanted what was rightfully theirs—which was the Women’s Novice 8 Title—then they were to go out there and take it.”

Bosco, a fifth-year coach, said that he was taken aback by his team’s performance at the championship. “It was actually a really beautiful thing to watch. They looked good. Their form was amazing. They just went and took what was theirs,” he said.

“I was really calm, actually,” Bosco added. “I’m usually a neurotic mess at these things, but the girls have, like, ice in their blood—and that kind of rubbed off on me today. I was able to stand back and watch in… awe, I guess you would say.”

Bosco has nothing but good things to say about his overachieving squad. Rhinebeck has been cutting a swath through the area crew scene lately, pulling in at second place in women’s varsity 8 at the O’Neill (West Point) Regatta on May 5, as well as first place in the women’s lightweight 4 category, and coming in first place in women’s novice 4 at the Poughkeepsie Triangulars on May 4.

“It was a rebuilding year. I had six varsity girls and 10 novice girls,” said Bosco, “We were a very young team this year, but we still succeeded. On the girls side, the novice girls have really bought into the style and work ethic that I teach.”

Bosco said that his team has progressed consistently throughout the year, and peaked at a crucial time—championship season. “Most teams will kind of peak and go back down. They continued to go upward with their strength and what they learned every single day, so I’m very satisfied and proud of what I’ve seen on my side,” he said.

Officials did not report any sightings of giant foam heads in the Hudson River during the championships.

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