Head of the Charles 2013 is in the books, and the next time we join together on the Boston and Cambridge shores it will be to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of the regatta. Looking back on the weekend, it really had some of the best weather, racing and spectators in recent memory. Even on Sunday, when conditions were a bit slower, racing was still fun, safe and fair; it was everything you could ask for in a regatta.
The regatta would not have its fame and character if it were not for the tricky river and epic crashes, though they really were at a minimum this year. Here are some notes—crashes and otherwise—from the course.
In the men's Director's Quad race, two crews got entangled under Eliot resulting in a broken oar. UVA men's head coach, Frank Biller in two-seat opened up the gate to release his other oar, and bailed from the quad. The crew raced across the finish line in the 3x, and still managed not to come in dead last, to boot.
Team Attager, who won six times consecutively from 2007-2011 and held the course record until Saturday, got a buoy caught around a blade as they turned to Magazine Beach. Stroke seat, Charlie Hamlin commented on the debacle during the awards ceremony last night.
"The length of time we were stuck on that buoy has been growing longer each time the story has been told this weekend," he laughed.
A few moments of good will and smart thinking:
The Women's Youth Double from Putney High got a bit close to shore (likely due to wind) to Reunion Village on the way to the basin and lost their skeg with 25 minutes to the start. What could have become a disheartening incident for a crew that's traveled so far was handled perfectly by the regatta. River control helped the crew get to Weld, and Radcliffe gave the girls a new boat. The duo raced up to the basin and ducked into the chute at the end of their event. It's moments like these in rowing,
A junior sculler flipped in during the warm-up, and race officials not only helped him get back in his boat ready to race, but also used zip ties to fix his foot stretchers. It was the first time junior singles were included in the regatta, and other than this incident it seemed to go off quite well; it's great seeing more kids sculling and racing.
Rumor has it the shells in front of of a very fast crew stuck in the middle of the pack were practicing moving in and out of the way quickly. This is a coxswains race for sure.
Apparently the 'stache trend isn't dead. The MAC youth men's four raced with pink mustaches reminiscent of the Lyft cars. The costumes were an even bigger part of the alumni races; much more important than going fast, of course.
And that's a wrap, folks!