The 44th running of the Head Of The Charles gets underway at 8:am Saturday morning; all looked well at the course today, with merely the normal oddities and talking points:
Link to Live webcast from the racecourse
- A men's masters eight rowing a seven due to being a man short this evening -
- How many folks have been in boats that might have gone faster as a seven? If there's a big headwind tomorrow, I might ask my boatmates to give it a try... You wonder if the rules would allow this? There have been some folks trying to fill out seats in the past few days - why not take a run with a six, or a seven? It might not work in a four - I heard earlier this week about a four that had lost three members this week - but if you had only one person missing, could you boat a four with the person who was "alone" on their side of the boat in the bow, and the other two guys in two and four - could a good coxswain get them down the course? Has anyone done it? Let us know...
- Speaking of headwinds, the weather calls for pain; the 10-15 mph NNE winds will be nearly a direct headwind in the long Riverside to Weeks Powerhouse stretch, owwwww - at least it will be a tailwind for the last 10-12 strokes
- HOCR on-water chief Vern Shrauger said that today's practice sessions went exceptionally well, "with only a couple small snafus" - there were no collisions, tho there was one single sculler flipping episode
- Director Fred Schoch was tidying up on regatta eve, literally - one of his tasks was to sweep up the office and even to put away the brooms (my apologies for failing to have my camera for documentary evidence)
- Talking about a talented staff: HOCR's Operations Director, Lib Diamond, is rumored to have volunteered to sing the National Anthem to kick off the Regatta. Hopefully her dog, Buckley, won't be be nearby...or he'll be howling too.
- We mentioned the USRowing champ women's 8 entry earlier this week in the Rumor Mill updates; the crew turns out to have only two Olympians in the ranks, Susan Francia (six seat in the Olympic eight) and Megan Kalmoe (bow seat in the Olympic double)
- Here's an entertaining video about the regatta from last year, includes info for the uninitiated as well as the experienced alike (including an interview with Mahe, and thankfully crash vids) http://hocr.org/2008HOCR/media.asp
- For some more highlights, check out the official media guide including a bunch of athlete highlights
International entries by country:
Great Britain 28
New Zealand 4
Finally, over 1200 volunteers will be helping to run the regatta this weekend; thanks to all these folks for making the whole show possible.