Dynasty: Susan Francia and US Women’s Eight Rowing Team Claim Back-To-Back Titles


The US Women’s Rowing Eight Team hasn’t lost a race since 2005. If that’s not a dynasty, who knows what is. That winning streak included the top performance in Beijing in 2008. With all eyes on the defending champions, the American women didn’t disappoint. On a windy, stormy day in London, the US Women’s Eight Team won their 2,000 km event in a time of 6 minutes, 10.59 seconds. Canada finished second in 6:12.06 and The Netherlands claimed third in 6:13.12.

Banking on their success in Beijing, the returning members brought a bottle of water from the venue in China where they claimed the title four years ago. They poured it on their boat before the race in London on Thursday. The lucky charm turned out to be just the thing they needed. Susan Francia, Caroline Lind, coxswain Mary Whipple, and three others brought their experience from Beijing with them to London, aiming at a repeat performance. The US team went out into the lead from the get-go and never looked back.

“That was our motto: Be greedy,” Francia said. “If we get an inch, take another inch. Never just settle.”

The Americans definitely didn’t settle. They didn’t settle for anything less than the number one spot. They worked together as a team, like they’ve done for so many years. The emphasis on teamwork was evident during a pre-race conversation between rower Caroline Lind and coxswain Mary Whipple:

Lind told Whipple, the coxswain: “You’re our brain, and we’re your body.”

When the race was over, Whipple praised her teammates, her “body.”

“What a beautiful body,” she replied.

On a day filled with tough conditions, the American women proved why they’ve had a bulls-eye on their backs for the past four years and beyond. In a stunning display of teamwork, Susan Francia and her crew kept their illustrious winning streak alive and confirming what many believe to be an American dynasty.


John Ohail


August 03, 2012