Aquil Abdullah (United States National Rowing Team) - This Washington D.C. native and graduate of George Washington University is the first African American single sculler to represent the United States National Rowing Team. He is the first African American to win the coveted Diamond Sculls at the Henley Royal Regatta and has numerous U.S. National Championships to his name. Aquil is a consummate saxophone player and has played with great acts as James Brown and G-Love and Special Sauce. Aquil, a renaissance man, has also written a book, Perfect Balance, about his quest to make the U.S. Olympic Team.
Juri Jaansen (Estonia National Team) - the waterman hero from Estonia travels to Head Of The Charlesâ Regatta for the second time. Juri, at 6' 3" and 200 lbs., is seasoned three decade competitor to the world rowing circuit. He is legally deaf. He studied sports science at university and coaches when he is not training. His rowing career:1st on World Championship 1990
2nd on World Championship 1995
3rd on World Championship 1989
5th on Olympic Games Barcelona 1992
6th on Olympic Games Sydney 2000
World Cup Winner 1990; 1995
World Best Time holder 1995-1999; 6:37.04
3rd on Head of The Charles 1989
International rowing institutions will be represented at this year's regatta. Record 17 different countries from 52 different clubs and rowing federations will send crews. From Istanbul, Turkey the Fenerbahce Spor Kulub (TUR) will join the ranks of the Head Of The Charles Regatta in both the Club 8 and Club 4. Club Espana R.C. (MEX) and Amatitlan Rowing Club (GTL) from Guatemala and from Nigeria's Helena Sports Club (NGR) has two boats entered in the Regatta. Halifax Rowing Club (CAN) is the most easterly rowing club from North America to travel to Boston. Republic of South Africa’s St. Benedicts College (RSA) will make the trip and Beyer Leverkusen (GER) they will bring their German national champions in the lightweight 8 and youth 4. Sydney University Boat Club (AUS) should be competitive in the Men's Championship 8 and Abingdon School Boat Club (GBR) will give the Men's Youth 8's from the US a run for their dollar.
Carol Skricki (United States National Team) won the Cambridge Boat Club Trophy last year in the Championship Single and placed second in the Charles Schwab Championship Sprint at Head Of The Charlesâ Regatta. She is eager to regain her presence in the race for cash. Carol led the women’s quadruple sculls, a boat that hadn’t medalled for the US since 1993, to a bronze medal in 2001. She was a member of the 1998, 1999 and 2001 National Teams as well as the 2000 Olympic Team. She finished second at the Charles in 1998, and fourth in 1999 and 2000. Carol began rowing at the age of 30 at Community Rowing Inc. in Boston and is the only women to win both the Club single then the Championship single. She is from Norwood, Massachusetts.
Tom Bohrer (Concord, MA) 2 time Olympic Silver Medallist (1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea and 1992 Olympic Games Barcelona, Spain) is married to C.B. Sands-Bohrer a 2 time world champion. They have three children Sally 8, Sabrina 7 and have recently adopted a korean boy named Si. Tom is in his 2nd year of coaching at Union Boat Club (Boston). He has developed successful men and women's club, masters, pre-elites programs. In the fall winter and spring he teaches indoor rowing classes at a Concord health club using the Concept II Rowing Ergometer. Fatherhood and giving back to the sport of rowing gives Tom a lot of happiness. C.B. Sands Bohrer works for Welches Food as a senior product manager. She is rowing Senior Masters single for the first time. Her boat is hard to miss. It is pink. She has recently taken up master women's master hockey and plays for the Concord Phantoms. Tom is building a gym in his basement and has been working to establish rowing program on the Concord River.
Harry Parker (Winchester, MA) Harvard Coach, 1960 Olympic sculler, Henley Champion is an icon of the sport of rowing. Married to 1984 Olympian Kathy Keeler he has celebrated 2 anniversaries this year, 40th anniversary of his coaching at Harvard last spring and the 150th anniversary of the Harvard Yale Race in June. Anyone will tell you that Harry is a ferocious and unrelenting competitor and will race the Veteran's single at the Head Of The Charles.
Matt Collins and Christine Smith-Collins (Quinsigamond Rowing Association, MA) are current residents of Worcester MA. Matt is a native of Cohasset, MA, a graduate of University of Mass, Amherst and attended medical school at Howard University. He is currently a doctor at Family Health Center of Worcester and Associate Professor of Family Medicine at UMass Medical School. Christine, of Darien CT and graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT, went to George Washington University Law School. Christine is currently a litigation attorney at Bowditch & Dewey, LLP in Worcester. So how do two bright motivated people maintain a relationship while working professional careers and training to be competitive masters rowers? Christine states, " we have a mutual support system... and with very similar personalities/characters we are quite able to understand each other. Marriage is a work in progress no matter how close you are."
Judy Geer, Morrisville VT Concept II and Olympian
G-Row Boston is an all girls inner city rowing program in its 5th year. Not only rowing but to build inner strength and self-confidence and let them see there are other choices for young girls from grade 7-12. Coach Ellen Minzner brings together Boston resident and Boston's public school girls in grades 7-12. Non-profit organization has been quite successful with good results. One of the recent graduates of the program is a freshman at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley MA.
Nikolay Kurmakov is a Brookline Mass resident and former Soviet Union National Team rower and coach. At present coach for Simmons College rowing program and will be rowing in the Master's Double at the Head Of The Charles Regatta. 'Nik' learned to row in 1965, became a Russian National Champion in 1975 and came 7th in World Rowing Championships that same year. He coached the Russian Junior National Rowing Team from 1981- 1986. In 1986, he and his family were forced to move to southern Russia because of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, 70 miles from his home in Kiev. Nik's wife is a librarian at Boston University and Nik's sons are very competitive swimmers. His oldest graduated from Harvard University in 1998 and his younger son presently attends University of Mass, Amherst.
Ellen Kennelly from Cambridge Boat Club is an artist/sculptor from Cambridge Mass and is a graduate from the Harvard Divinity School 1990. She is a decorated master's rower with 4 National Championships in the Single. Further she is a FISA World Master's Champion in the Single 1999-2001. She has been rowing 20 years and this will be he 20th Head Of The Charlesâ Regatta.
Five time veteran of the Head Of The Charles Regatta is Patrick H. Ruffo was born in Gloucester, MA, went to U Mass Amherst and is an assistant manager of a Dunkin Donuts in Wilmington, MA.