Oct. 22, 2012
Hoyas Compete at Head of the Charles
The Hoyas competed in Boston yesterday at the 48th annual Head of the Charles regatta, racing to 6th-place and 25th-place finishes in the Lightweight and Championship Eights categories, respectively. A 20mph headwind gusted throughout the 3-mile racecourse, making conditions challenging and exciting for all the crews. The Head of the Charles attracts over 300,000 spectators to shores of the Charles River, with 9,000 rowers from 28 countries competing in 55 events. It is a highlight of the fall racing season.
The Hoyas raced a stacked field of 40 crews in the Championship Eight category, with five international crews and upwards of 40 Olympic athletes from the London Games. National Teams from the U.S., Canada, Great Britain and the Netherlands all finished in the top 10. USRowing won the event in a time of 16:13.4. The Hoyas finished in 17:55.7, 20th among college crews, just four seconds behind Brown University and a second ahead of Northeastern.
Navigating a tricky course, junior coxswain Devon O’Brien negotiated some difficult moments with success on the course: arriving at the Anderson Bridge with a little over a mile to go, for example, with three crews across (Notre Dame, Navy and Georgetown) at a bridge where only two crews can come through safely. Notre Dame and Navy came to stop as they clashed blades, while the Hoyas sailed though unscathed as they headed into the last mile.
“I’m continually encouraged by the steady progress this team is making,” said head coach Miranda Paris. “Every time we get on the water we get faster and learn more about what it takes to compete at the level we ultimately want to be at. I know my team has the determination and persistence to not be satisfied with today, but continue to push to be faster tomorrow.”
Junior six-seat Carly McCaffrey noted, “Our race was rough: very windy and three boats across for a good part of it. However, we never gave up and kept pushing each stroke until the end. After this race, I thanked my teammates for helping me accomplish my first goal of the season: improve our performance at HOCR. We were pleased that our performance reflects the changes we've made and hard work we've put in since last year. Each one of us excited for what's to come next weekend at Princeton Chase and into the spring as well.”
The lightweights finished sixth in a time of 17:56.1. Radcliffe won the event in 16:58.8, with Wisconsin and Stanford rounding out the top three. Junior Clare Southern commented, “Although we didn’t get the result we wanted, we are ready to hit the water this week and apply our aggression more effectively to help maintain our boat speed better.” Lightweight coach James Newcombe reflected, “We don’t feel like this was the best day for us or a clear representation of our present speed. We have a clear idea of how we need to move forward, however, and that is critically important.”
The Hoyas will see many of the crews they raced against in Boston at the Princeton Chase in Princeton, New Jersey, this coming Sunday, October 28. Follow their results on Twitter @HoyaRowing.