54th Head of the Charles
Cambridge, MA/October 20-21: It was another year to join the armada day at the 54th Annual Head of the Charles Regatta. The Narragansett Boat Club brought more than half its competitive racing equipment to join the other 1,100 competitors who rowed up the narrow serpentine course. Leading the way for the NBC were Dan Gorriaran and Mike Smith in the Men's Senior Master Doubles, who finished over 26 seconds ahead of 2nd place Castle Semple Rowing Club from the United Kingdom. Dan and Mike have now stretched their skein of wins to 16 years, no doubt a new record for the HOCR.
Also, among our leaders was NBC's Women's Grand Master 4+ [60-69]. It was all smiles and exuberance on the medal stand for Carol Browning, Frances Middendorf, Suzannah Rutherford, Susan Faasse, and Coxswain Megan Wilson, who took the gold by 22 seconds over second place Watercat Rowing Club from Shoreline, Washington. Along the way, they passed three boats with Meg giving them calm, cool and very positive directions. If you would like to listen the audio from their race, you can hear it here from start to finish.
There were also many other scullers and rowers who did extremely well. Dick Green, Deb Chute, Barbara Green, Portia Gaitskell, Ed Geyh, and Alden Bumstead ranked third in their events. One of last year's top junior women's doubles, Claire Noble Shriver and Ellie Hamilton placed fourth, even though they had very little time to row together this fall. We also many of 6th and 7th place finishers: Dave Rand, Tracy Glover, Jack Stone, and Jonathan Greenberg. With Alan Green flying in from Minnesota, we also had two generations of the Green Family in this year's event.
In the competition with the really big boats we had three eights, a first for the NBC. Charging up the course was the Men's Senior Master 8+ [50-59]. Coxswain Ellie Morris reported that this was an amazing experience. They were two boats behind the Yale alumni boat at the start and were determined to beat Yale's time. By the time they rowed under the River St. Bridge, they already started closing the gap. Once they exited the Western Ave. Bridge they had walked through them. By the end of the race they had passed a total of four crews, pulling into eighteenth place out of sixty-three boats. This was about twenty places higher than last year's finish. Overall, everyone had good reason to be proud of their result.
The Women's Master 8+ [40+] had a daunting task, starting next to last, so they had to muscle their way through tight quarters as they attempted to pass slower boats and finished four boats higher up in overall time. The Women's Grand Master Eights [60-69] had a similar challenge since they were mixed in with the Women's Senior Eights. There was lots of exciting side-by-side competition. In fact, Albin's assignment was at the Cambridge Boat Club and he just happened to view the NBC boat as it rounded the turn fish-hook turn with two other eights on the port side. There was no room for them to go through the center arch, so coxswain Logan Rinaldi had no choice but to take the Cambridge arch. She did a masterful job making the turn and then corrected her course without interference. No doubt that both boats have lots of stories tell about their row.
There are many more scullers who made the trip and successfully completed the course. All of them are listed below complete with finishing time and rank within their event. Many thanks to those of you who made written contributions. Our apologies that we could not print them all. Congratulations, too, to all of the coaches: Peter Wilhelm, Joan Brush, Lisa Evans, Amy Abbot, Daniela Roop, Scott Roop, Andy Washburn, Charlie Whitin, Scott Cazier, and Brent Basso. Congratulations, this activity and overseeing all of the efforts on the Charles.
You can find more information about the racing on Regatta Central and results at HereNOW.com.