Women’s Champ Doubles, For McAuliffe and Keane the Waters Felt Like Home

By Jenna Ciccotelli – Posted on October 22, 2017

They rowed under the colors of the Advanced Rowing Initiative of the Northeast (ARION) Club of Saratoga, New York, but for fans in the know, the winners in Saturday’s women’s championship doubles competition was really a hometown crew.

Maureen McAuliffe and Lily Keane, who trained together at Cambridge’s Riverside Boat Club last year, cut nearly a minute off of their 2016 time, to win the race 18:13.

“We were just going to lay down the best course and the best speed that we could,” McAuliffe said. “We didn’t know where we’d fall in, really, so it was an unexpected win.”

Jill Moffatt and Ellen Gleadow from Victoria, British Columbia’s National Training Centre were second, six seconds back. And after the race they could not help but feel they may have left six seconds out on the course, on an unseasonably warm and calm Saturday afternoon.

“I’ve never bowed and we’ve never been in a double, we’ve always had coxswains,” explained Moffatt after the women stored their boat back at the Hudson SHARK Zone following their late-afternoon race. “We were just concerned about going straight and going on the course.”

The race favorites, Austrian Magdalena Lobnig and partner Jeannine Gmelin from Ruderclub Zurich, looked good at 18:19.14 but were awarded a five second penalty and finished fourth.

But the day belonged to McAuliffe and Keane, who agreed rowing in what had once been their home waters served as an advantage during this year’s race.

“It felt good [to win] because we knew the course and we knew it was going to be a pretty tough field,” McAuliffe said. “I was confident having Lily stroking and just having the confidence of knowing the course really helped us.”