What is the Head Of The Charles Weekend without some rowing rumors to ruminate? Here's a selection of news, in no particular order:
- The Gunnery School, CT, perennial favorite in the Men's Youth Four event, coached by former US Jr. Men's whip, Bob Reinhart, was seen marshaling his troops over the stormy Charles last weekend. Witnesses report that they practiced the Eliot Bridge turn no fewer than six times, all incorrectly, before an exasperated Reinhart headed for home. We're certain they'll nail it on race day!
- Not to be outdone by another institution from Connecticut, The Brunswick School of Greenwich, CT, coached by another Jr. National Team coach, Joe Falco, was seen with his crew cutting turns under Boston bridges ten days before race weekend.
- Nereus, home of Amsterdam's famous and popular March invitational, the Heineken Regatta, arrived in Cambridge today- the Dutch have flown over the pond no fewer than six eights to race in the Charles; do you think it's our beer?
- Veteran sculler Malcolm Gefter has taken hull maintenance to an entirely new level. He was seen this week with an electric "buffing" machine, feverishly shining yellow paint from his aging Empacher. Later the same day, his Directors' Challenge Quad entry, featuring the Pisten Bully Yacht Club, was nearly T-boned under Eliot Bridge by an oncoming Boston University eight.
- Radcliffe's Liz O'Leary and long-time partner Lisa Stone rowed up to the dock at the Cambridge Boat Club today to drop off their Directors' Challenge Quad entry form! Way to save on that postage...
- Speaking of Directors' Quad entries...here's a golden lineup for the ages: Larry Klecatsky, Paul Fuchs, Bill Belden and Scott Roop; a veritable who's who of American Lightweight Rowing. It is unlikely there has ever been a lineup with more national team experience. Combined, they have represented the USA in competition more than forty times; in addition, Bill Belden and Scott Roop are both two time World Champions.
- Current World Champion, Kiwi Mahe Drysdale, arrived today from London, GB, where he is living and training with partner Alan Campbell, the reining UK Singles Champion.
- Steve Tucker's record-setting 32:36 win in the 9k Armada Cup last weekend could not have been terrible training for this week's 3-miler; same for Michelle Guerette, who broke the old record by about 30 seconds in a time of 36:09, only to have Ekaterina Karsten take a full minute off. A 5k on home waters sounds almost like a parade after that one
- International stealth entry of the week: current World Champ Vasileios Polymeros of Greece in the light 1x (correction: Polymeros has apparently scratched; still should be a pretty good brawl looking at the start list)
- 2005 US women's eight stroke Caroline Lind is racing with her Princeton squad, opening the stroke seat for the first comeback row by Athens silver medalist Kate Johnson in the USRowing boat.
- Master's eight selection, Philadelphia style: it seems Penn AC, legendary rowing fraternity on the Schuylkill River, has taken masters' seat selection to new heights. This year, the top three erg scores in a 5k pull got to make the line up. At 41 years of age, one "Boring" ex-national stick pulled 1:36 splits for a 16:00 result. They will chase last year's winner, Pocock Training Center.
- Local favorite Riverside Boat Club has recruited international coach, Dave Martin, former Swiss team leader and Xeno Muller handler. With four high maintenance entries to monitor, he has his hands full!
- Overheard at the boathouse, from a confident member of a local lightweight eight: "We will win."
- Boston local Steve Tucker's shell blew over in the wind this week and sustained damage. All is well, however, as he was spotted "holding court" under the Weeks Footbridge with bronze medalists Michelle Guerrette on Tuesday morning, analyzing the strongest Charles River current in memory.
- Another quick recovery: A US National Teamer was seen atop his single on the Charles in the early morning this week - with the boat upside down. Word is he got back to the boathouse, showered up, and went back out!
- The Regatta Director is taking full advantage of the doubling rules in the new quad event; Fred Schoch will race in the Team Attager 50+ 8, and then the Directors' Quad, naturally, with his directors, aka Cambridge Water Technology.
- As advertised, Cambridge University Boat Club and Leander Club will face off against Harvard and Northeastern Universities this Friday in a 350m sprit at 2:00pm. Rumor has it that Virgin Atlantic Airways, the sponsor of the dash, will have flight attendants in classic Virgin red uniforms waiting on the dock for the winners to spray them with champagne and hand them a 5' tall trophy in the shape of an airplane.
- Sold out? With over 7,000 athletes having been turned away this year, at least one institution has decided to seize the opportunity to make a buck. Rumor has it that one group "sold" an entry to another club for more than $200.00 per seat...but hey, you can find that deal in the new Directors' Quad and support the HOCR.