Overheard (likely a father to his daughter, likely a first-year rower:) "So Abby, tell me what I'm seeing here. I think I'm seeing a crew that rows a lot of strokes, but doesn't work very hard. Is that what I'm seeing? Okay, what can we say about this crew? I would want to know, why are their oars dragging on the water? Can you tell me Abby? Abby? Abby, wouldn't that slow them down? (pause) Alright Abby, how does this crew look to you? Tell me what you see, tell me what you think. Tell me what I'm seeing here. I think I'm seeing..." Daughter Abby was very patient and informative, handling Pop with kid gloves, very well done.
Winning a women's national championship doesn't seem to bode well for the Charles the following year; in fact, if the past two years are accepted as a reliable sample, it means you'll finish the course rowing by sixes. The Brown women were national champs in 2000, and broke equipment at the Charles a few months later and rowed by six for most of the course. This year, the Princeton LW women had an injury during the race, and rowed to the finish by six. At least in Brown's case, it doesn't seem to hurt come spring; Brown's crew won Sprints and placed second at Nationals the following spring.
Amid an absurd amount of stellar racing, a few efforts stand out. To wit: Linda Kennett's 1:05 second victory in the Grand Masters Single put her so far in front of the next fastest sculler that no other scullers made it under the 5% margin for a guaranteed entry next year. Contrast this with the 25 crews that made it under 5% to earn guaranteed entries in the women's club eight, and you can understand the magnitude of Linda's dominance on Sunday. 2001 Charles records - a tailwind in the powerhouse stretch helped the following crews to new course records:
- Men's senior veteran singles: Richard Kendall, 20:31.75
- Men's veteran singles: Christopher Collins, 19:24.32
- Women's grand masters singles: Linda Kennett, 21:50.01
- Women's senior masters singles: Judy Geer, 20:33.60
- Men's masters eight: Leander Boat Club, 15:16.14
- women's master eights: Long Beach, 17:14.17
- Women's youth four: Princeton, 18:58.4
Saturday PM update:
US single scullers represented this afternoon- Carol Skricki won the women's single over world and olympic champ Ekaterina Karsten; and Steve Tucker lost to Aussie open weight sculler Duncan Free by only three seconds, and beat Marcel Hacker, who could outweight Tucker by 50%. Each time Free would pressure Tucker, Tucker would lay into his oars and exploit his intimate knowledge of the Charles river, offering a master class in steering the Charles. The smart take from the strong...
Comment of the day, as dozens of crews headed toward the starting line through the Weeks Bridge: "Their colors are red, right? This must be them, they're wearing red."
The club eight sported some hard rowing, but if you were looking for some hard collisions, the event disappointed. "What's with that?" one Weeks spectator said. "No crashes in the club eight?!? What's the point? Ah well, there's always the Youth Eight tomorrow."
Talk about a tight pack - fully 25 crews made it under the 5% margin-from-the-winner required to get a guaranteed entry for next year's Regatta. The last crew, the Fat Cats, contains many friends of row2k, as I've rowed as a Fat Cat in countless races over the past few years; congrats to our feline sisters.
Head of the Charles staff members raced today - regatta director Fred Schoch rowed in the Master's Double, and Mike Callahan rowed the Champ single. Callahan looked like he was having a good row, but broke a foot stretcher with his crushing leg drive.
row2k took a ride on the course tonight in prep for rowing with Mother Vesper in the master's eight tomorrow. I expected a bit of a zoo on the water, as everyone is trying to practice at the same time, but it wasn't too bad, and we were hitting the ratings, so tomorrow's run should be okay. Give us a yell as we go by; we may need it if this headwind strengthens at all.
If you're traveling, we've heard of some fairly serious out-of-the-blue restrictions on trailers on the New York Thruway. Be aware and be prepared.
Some favorite past Charles photos:
Dr. Rowing is proud to announce the publication of The Compleat Dr. Rowing, a collection of his best pieces from the past six years of his column. He will be launching the book at the Head of the Charles and doing signings at Alden from 8:30-11:00 and Potomac from 11:00-4:00 on both Saturday and Sunday.
At the Charles, you never know who is going to come out blazing fast for the Youth Eight race. There are always grudge matches; way back in the day, my brother and I went at it in two different crews in the Youth Eight; we both won medals, placing 2-3. My crew got a half-page photo in Monday morning's Boston Globe Sports section page 1, but I won't say who had the better finish.
International crews especially go under the radar until the results are posted, but this year, the St. Benedict's College crew from Johannesburg, South Africa, came over a couple weeks early despite everything to test their speed (and show their hand) at the New Hampshire Championships. Their first place finish by a margin of over 15 seconds would seem to be a sign that they're moving well. The crew is now training on the Charles, I believe, and looks very slick according to knowledgeable spectators.
2001 Master Rowers' Reception - Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., presenting sponsor of the Head Of The Charles® Regatta, invites all Master Rowers to a reception at the University Park Hotel @ MIT, Friday, October 19th, 4:00-7:00 pm.
Please join your fellow rowers for drinks, hors d'oeures and information on the latest rowing technology. Staff from Resolute Racing Shells will be on hand to share advances in boat design and rigging. Visit WWW.hotelatmit.com for directions.
According to the folks at The Head of the Charles, recent rumors that the Charles is in danger of being canceled are untrue. We received this note from horse's mouth On Oct. 3:
"The Head Of The Charles regatta, its board of directors and the Race Operations Committee are fully committed to hosting the best possible rowing event in the nation on October 20-21st.
The Regatta has been developing, with the full support and cooperation of State and local officials, additional security measures to enhance public safety. Every precaution is being taken and comprehensive contingency plans will be in effect to address any security issue that may arise.
We look forward to seeing our many friends in the rowing community on Race Weekend."