Here we go...
Due to problems with her visa, Ekaterina Karsten was forced to withdraw from the champ singles a couple days ago. The press is all over this one, and Karsten would have been a formidable force, having placed second at Worlds this year in the single while also doubling up in the quad. Having watched Neykova in Seville this summer, however, I'd confidently say she proved herself the fastest sculler in the world at the moment, doubling up or not. With Rutschow-Stomporowski filling out the visitor field, and Carol Skricki bringing some local knowledge to the game, the field remains mean and deep.
Speaking of local knowledge, don't think it doesn't matter. Last year, MIT grad and Charles River stalwart Steve Tucker gave a master class in local knowledge of the Charles and got himself into the dash for cash. Steve's racing the champ single again this year, and don't be surprised if he ends up racing Sunday afternoon again this year as well.
Could be some passing this weekend; Aquil Abdullah starts 16th in the Champ single; US double bowman Brett Wilkinson starts 26th, US quad member Sloan DuRoss starts 28th, and Juri Jaansen starts 18th. In the men's 9, the USA B 8 starts 29th as well, Neykova, Rutschow-Stomporowski, and Laurel Korholz start 13, 14, and 15, and there are lots of cases like this of crews with certain speed starting in the middle of the field. Should be plenty of YIELD! YIELD! bellowing this year.
Brutal Starting Position of the Weekend: Kara Farquharson
Kara Farquharson of Lorne Parke High School in Mississauga Ontario got an entry into the club single when entries went in back on August 1. however, she subsequently performed well enough at the Canadian Henley to make her ineligible for the club single, and she was given an entry in the Champ single.
Kara is starting 12th. If you read the info above, you know that that puts her right in front of Neykova, Rutschow-Stomporowski, and Korholz. When I spoke to Kara a couple weeks ago, she was philosophical. "I guess I'll get to see the best rowers in the world up close." Tremendous luck to Kara holding them off.
First Up, and Last But Not Least
First crew to start this year: Harvard University club eight, starting today at high noon.
The last crew to start (but of course not necessarily the last to finish) tomorrow afternoon (save for the dash for cash): bow number 47 in the women's Champ 8: Southern Methodist Univ. TX
Finally, a semi-official statement from HOCR staff: Keep your wits about you, be safe, and go hard!