Below you'll find a few highlights from a selection of the 2015 HOCR events. Want more? Check out the 2015 media guide. Don't see your name listed in the credits? Pull harder or make a nice comment on the article so we know you're still reading!
In last week's article on the BNY Mellon Championship Cup, we made one rather large omission kindly pointed out by @SUB6HOCR. Thank you sub6-er, not just for proving that we actually have readers (or at least one reader) but for also drawing attention to one program we left out. Please accept our regrets and see an amended snapshot of the Men's Championship Eight in these race previews now updated to include the Bulldogs.
28. Men's Championship Single - Saturday 10/17 4:24PM
Course record holder and hometown hero, Andrew Campbell (bow 1), returns to this division with his favorite heavyweight foe, Mahe Drysdale, chasing him down at bow 2. Cuban sculler and 2015 CRASH-B Champion, Angel Fournier Rodriguez may push both Campbell and Drysdale from bow 3. Don't discredit John Graves (bow 8) who will be rowing with something to prove after a disappointing performance in the single in 2014 but a gold medal in the Craftsbury Championship 8 entry. Two international dark horse entries could surprise from the back of the pack: Dutch sculler, Maarten van Blokland (bow 11) and Slovenian sculler/Husky, Jernej Markovc (bow 24).
29. Women's Championship Single - Saturday 10/17 4:33PM
Gevvie Stone (bow 1) and Kathleen Bertko (bow 2) are the headline story in this event. Bertko beat Stone's three-year winning streak in 2013 when she took the title and the course record. Kristen Hedstrom (bow 5), three time winner of the HOCR Lightweight Single will have two international entries ahead of her: Anne Dsane Andersen (bow 3) and Eveline Peleman (bow 4). Andersen recently finished 4th in the pair at 2015 World Championships while Peleman was the 2014 World Champion in the Lightweight 1x.
24. Men's Championship Doubles
Defending W1X champ Gevvie Stone gets the clean water with Bow 1 this year
- Saturday 10/17 3:33PM
We have three races being played out in the Championship double: overall winner, collegiate winner, and lightweight winner. The brothers Graves (Tom and Peter) lead the field at bow 1 and hope to regain the title they held in this division from 2009 to 2011. They'll have to hold off the Cowles/Stitt duo at bow 2 that finished less than a second back in 2014. They'll also have to watch out for the international dark horse entry of Romain Loup and Vincent Giorgis from Lausanne Sports who arrived a week early to train on the course.
In the collegiate division, the both scullers from the FIT entry of Coyle/Selakovic have international experience at the Junior or U23 level and will likely have quite the advantage over the four other entries competing for the collegiate title. With Austin Meyer and Josh Konieczny not returning to defend their lightweight title, this could be any sub-165 man's race. 25. Women's Championship Doubles
- Saturday 10/17 3:42PM
The Dutch women's quad that recently finished third at the 2015 World Championships splits with Achterberg/Janssen at bow 1 and Bouw/Beukers at bow 2 rowing under SKO/Njord. Janssen won this event in 2014 with Elisabeth Hogerwerf while Beukers finished third with Claudia Belderbos. The Danske Studenters Roklub entry of Julianne Rasmussen and Anne Thomson (bow 3) return to this field after a 6th place finish in 2014 and a recent 5th place finish in the lightweight women's double at World Championships.
In the Collegiate division, just Syracuse and Gordon College are vying for the cup. This is Gordon's debut trip up the Charles. This field also boasts a strong group of lightweights with six entries including the Nielsen/Juul-Hidsgaul duo racing for KVIK. Neilsen recently finished 6th in the Dutch Lightweight Women's Quad at U23's. 46. Men's Championship Fours
- Sunday 10/18 2:10PM
Camp Randall, the only US club in this division, is back at bow 1 and looking for a three-peat in the Men's Champ Four. They'll need to hold off Cambridge University Boat Club at bow 2 and the reigning IRA champions (in all divisions) - University of Washington - at bow 3. Florida Institute of Technology (bow 4) will also return after a fantastic fifth place finish in 2014. We'll see some of the top IRA programs going head to head in this division. 47. Women's Championship Fours
- Sunday 10/18 2:16PM
After a late scratch from USRowing's B entry in this division, Syracuse - the top collegiate crew in 2014 - moves up to bow 2. This was their lone entry last year but this year, they'll also be fielding a Champ Eight and depending on which boat they prioritized, they may struggle to hold pace against the crews around them. UVA (bow 3) and Brown (bow 4) will both be strong contenders. Watch for the New York Athletic Club back at bow 11. Their entry boasts an all-star line-up with five former Olympians including their coxswain who you may recognize and remember as Mary Whipple. 48. Men's Championship Eights
- Sunday 10/18 2:30PM
For those of you who still remember the 2012 oar-clashing incident between USRowing and the University of Washington that ultimately resulted in quite a few unfavorable photographs and three minutes worth of penalties, we'll see the same exact start order as “the incident” at the 2015 HOCR. Yale is also back at bow 7 with a similar lineup to the one that defeated Harvard by over 15 seconds at the Harvard Yale race this past summer but they'll have some navigating to do. Also keep an eye out on the 2015 Thames Challenge Cup winner and finalist at the back of the pack: Thames Rowing Club (bow 20) and RTHC Bayer Leverkusen (bow 22). 49. Women's Championship Eights
- Sunday 10/18 2:44PM
We'll see a race played out between the top NCAA division I college programs with UVA (bow 2), Michigan (bow 3), and Brown (bow 4) favored. Our west coast friends, USC (bow 27) and California (bow 32), will hope for the clearest course possible as their raw speed is likely comparable to our top returning programs. Lightweight Events 52. Men's Lightweight Fours
- Sunday 10/18 3:46PM
With last year's champions, the Canadian National Team, opting to stay north this October, the first seed will go to fellow Canadians, Brock University. Their path won't necessarily be smooth with a very strong Cornell boat seeded at bow 2 and coached by former HOCR Assistant Director Chris Kerber. Columbia's entry (bow 4) looks young but speedy. The University of Virginia men's club program is throwing their hat into this field at bow 14 and will likely surprise the crews around them. For two club dark horse entries, keep an eye on Riverside Boat Club (bow 7) boasting a few members of their Canadian Henley Light 8 championship crew and Undine Barge Club (bow 13). 53. Women's Lightweight Fours
- Sunday 10/18 3:53PM
The 2015 Women's Lightweight Four division is a small but mighty field. 2014 Champions, Princeton are back at bow 1 and with the Canadian women's crews taking a year off, they'll likely pull away from the Fordham and UMass boats at bows 2 and 3 respectively. Keep an eye on the Boston University and Radcliffe entries at bows 4 and 5. The Riverside Boat Club entry back at bow 10 could also challenge if they don't get caught on the outside of the Eliot turn. 54. Men's Lightweight Eights
- Sunday 10/18 4:06PM
The Men's Lightweight Eight will certainly be worth watching this year. Course record holder's, Princeton are back at bow 1 hoping for a three-peat. Harvard and Cornell will chase Princeton at bows 2 and 3, respectively.
Then we have two surprise entries that could threaten the top collegiate programs: the CRI entry boasts the 2015 US Men's Lightweight eight (bow 4) and the National Training Centre entry (bow 5) that includes the complete Canadian Men's Lightweight Four line-up from 2015 World Championships. 55. Women's Lightweight Eights
- Sunday 10/18 4:12PM
The Minerva entry at bow 1 is back and will likely continue to dominate this field. This boat is comprised of women from the Dutch Lightweight National Team. Radcliffe was the only crew to finish within thirty seconds of their time (15 seconds behind, to be exact) in 2014. With a new coach - Sarah Schwegman - who is also highly decorated with HOCR medals, they'll hope to close the distance between their bow and Minerva's stern. Both Boston University (bow 3) and Wisconsin (bow 4) will hope to keep up with these top two crews in the final race at the 2015 Head Of The Charles Regatta. Masters Events 36. Men's Master Singles
- Sunday 10/18 10:56AM
Andrew Neils, former Riverside sculler and member of the 2014 US Lightweight Quad, moves into this division from the Lightweight single and his time secures him the bow 1 position over 2014 winner of this division and RBC rival, Mike Farry. Drew Tenant (bow 3), finished just 1.2 seconds off Farry in 2014 and is likely the only non-RBC sculler (past and present) who could trump this field. Watch out for Andrew Hashway, bow 11, who is taking a year off from the Marist Alumni boat and has posted some nearly untouchable times in the Head of the Kevin series. If Hashway can secure the win, we'll see a three-year streak of different Riverside Boat Club winners. 37. Women's Master Singles
- Sunday 10/18 11:05AM
Lissa Krawczyk moves into this division from the Women's Championship Single in 2014. Her time seeds her at bow 1 but given the difference in conditions from Saturday to Sunday in 2014, she'll have her work cut out for her. Aisha Chow (bow 2) also moves into this division after winning the Club single last year. HOCR seeding policy honors all singles competitors' times from the previous year pushing the 2014 winner of this division, Alex Bailey back to bow 3. She'll have to hold off two strong Riverside scullers as well: Liane Keister (bow 4), 2009 winner of this division and Alexis Sneff (bow 5) who has had a strong fall season to date. 44. Men's Master Doubles
- Sunday 10/18 1:45PM
The James Dundon and Patrick Johnson (bow 1) combination upset the Riverside Boat Club 2013 champions, Kevin McDonnell and Rob White handily last year. They'll be pushed by the Narragansett/Malta combination of Fred Duling and Jeff Brock at bow 2 but could face their strongest threat from a new Riverside entry to this division. Sean Wolf and Peter Morelli are pairing up after spending the last 5+ years chasing HOCR gold in singles with only Morelli capturing the Masters single title in 2013. This dynamic duo finished over 45 seconds ahead of Duling/Brock at the 2015 Green Mountain Head and will be worth watching. Also keep an eye on the Dickison brothers (Donald and David) at bow 18. They won the Championship double 25 years ago and Don went to both the 1988 and 1992 Olympics with the Canadian National Team. 45. Women's Master Doubles
- Sunday 10/18 1:55PM
With the top two finishers in 2014 opting not to return this year, the Dallas Rowing Club combination of Kimberly Eiting and Amy Molenaar that finished third in 2014 will lead this division at bow 1. With few returning entries this year, they're strongest competition will come from several new entries. Fiona Milne and Gen Meredith (bow 4) will likely close quite a bit of water. Milne rowed in the Lightweight Women's Double at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. Two local entries could also challenge from the back of the pack: Riverside's Lanfer/White at bow 12 and the RBC/CBC combo of Scannell/Sacchetti at bow 13. 20. Men's Master Fours [40+]
- Saturday 10/17 2:36PM
With only one member of the 2014 winning crew listed in the Palm Beach line-up at bow 1, this could be any man's race. Last year's top four finishers - Palm Beach, Crabtree (bow 2), Cornell Alumni (bow 3), and Marin (bow 4) - traded the top positioning through every split station until Palm Beach set a blistering pace between CBC and the finish to secure the win. The highly decorated and venerated Molesey crew at bow 20 is familiar with the HOCR podium and could certainly pose a threat if they don't get tangled up along the way or with the USRowing (bow 19) boat suspiciously entered in this category. . 21. Women's Master Fours [40+]
- Saturday 10/17 2:49PM
MInneapolis Rowing Club returns at bow 1 to lead this field. They'll have clear water with the course record holder, Saugatuck back at bow 9 after a disappointing finish in 2014. Berkeley Paddling and Rowing Club (bow 3) and Chinook Performance Racing (bow 5) both posted fast times in 2014 despite being new entrants steering through the field. Watch for them to close the gap on Alexandria Community Rowing (bow 2) and Sammamish (bow 4), respectively. 22. Men's Master Eights [40+]
- Saturday 10/17 3:08PM
This event has come to rival the Men's Championship Eight when it comes to both speed and the notoriety of its participants and 2015 will be no exception. After a narrow win over Molesey (bow 2) last year, Shannon Rowing Club is back at bow 1 in an identical all-star line-up. But with a double Olympic gold medalist in the Molesey boat behind them, it won't be a swing row. The highly decorated Kennebacasis (bow 3) is still a threat to these crews. This event is full of Olympic Champions, World Champions, and some fantastic club rowers who are still able to make the rowing legends a little nervous. 23. Women's Master Eights [40+]
- Saturday 10/17 3:19PM
Molesey Boat Club (bow 1) gave a clinic last year in this event, setting the course record by almost 40 seconds. They're back with a modified line-up and will have Toronto Sculling Club (bow 2) and Pocock (bow 3) chasing them down. Only five crews finished within a minute of Molesey's time in 2014 and without an obvious contender this year, we could see another blow out performance. If you're looking for a dark horse in this event, watch for Minneapolis Rowing Club (bow 17). They're unseeded as a new entrant but the club is no stranger to the HOCR podium with several wins in this division and the Masters Four.
Who will win? Not even the disco ball gypsies know