Even though the lightweight crew team will not face their most intense competition until this spring, between practice, races and partying at the crew house, the Elis don’t seem to have much time for anything else.

“Rowing takes up so much time and energy it’s hard to commit yourself to another activity,” Joe Fahrendorf ’06 said.

The rowers said they view the fall and spring seasons as runners might look at a fall cross country season and a spring track season. During the fall season, the crew team competes in longer, less intense races than it does in the fall. The spring season is the main season when the team will compete for the most medals.

Last year, the team captured a national title for the third time in six years and placed second in the Temple Challenge Cup Final at the Henley Royal Regatta in the United Kingdom. The Elis lost four seniors to graduation last year, but rowers said they have faith that current seniors will be able to carry the squad. Four of these seniors plan to try out for national teams.

Captain Joe Fallon ’06 said this year’s team is strong, but it will still be difficult for the Elis to perform as well as they did last year.

“It’s always hard to stay up top when you’re on top,” Fallon said.

The team travels by bus to Derby to row several grueling miles in practice five to six days a week. But the Elis said the long training sessions are more bearable because they get along well with each other.

“Practice is so far away from school,” David Werner ’06 said. “But once you’re out there its fun.”

Fahrendorf said Coach Andy Card manages to make rowing more exciting.

“Rowing isn’t like basketball or football. It can get really mundane. But Andy keeps rowing alive,” Fahrendorf said. “I look forward to going to the boathouse to see what crazy things our coach has come up with.”

Rowers said they are looking forward to the Head of the Charles, the fall’s biggest race, on October 23. The event features teams from around the world.

This weekend, the Elis will compete in two races: the Head of the Housatonic in Derby, Conn. on Saturday and the Stonehurst Invitational in Rochester, N.Y. on Sunday. On Saturday, they will try their luck against Yale heavyweight crew.

“I don’t want to say anything now and have this blow up in my face, but it should be a good race to watch,” Fahrendorf said.