When the North Carolina rowing team trains for a meet, raising money is not usually on its list of preparations.
But for the first time, the team pledged to raise $2,000 for “Row for the Cure,” a charity event held in conjunction with the second-largest collegiate regatta in the country, Head of the Hooch, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
There, the novice Tar Heels placed ninth in the college and club novice eights and the varsity rowers placed 12th in the women’s championship eights.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina rowing team hosted an “Erg-a-Thon,” named after the rowing machines the team practices on, and sold tank tops in the Pit to benefit the Triangle affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“It was nice for the rowers to take on an extra challenge besides just rowing ability, to get really excited for the race and to get motivated. They did a great job,” assistant coach Chelsea Pemberton said.
Far surpassing its original goal, the team brought more than $5,000 with them to the regatta, where the rowers also succeeded in the water.
Although the varsity team did not place in the top 10, coach Sarah Haney was optimistic about the depth of the team and the rowers’ ability to adjust to a variety of new lineups.
“We were hoping for higher results in the fours, but we weren’t in lineups, which was a coach’s decision,” Haney said, explaining that positioning within the boats was a starting-line decision. “We were excited that the girls came off the water saying they had a really good race. They brought their ‘A’ game.”
Because of an influx of new talent, coaches switched up lineups and boat sizes every day at practices leading up to Head of the Hooch to find the best combination of rowers.