When the Head of the Charles returned this year after its 2020 pandemic hiatus, the Race Committee did not forget the collegiate Class of 2020 alums, and decided to create a special medal division in the Alumni/Alumnae events for those seniors who lost out on their final season in Spring of 2020.
That class did of course have their senior Charles, in the Fall of 2019, and nothing can really replace the racing opportunities that were lost when the rowing and sporting world abruptly shut down in March of 2020, but for groups like the Brown Women-who took the Alumnae 8 2020 prize with a row that put them 6th overall to boot-this special category provided the perfect excuse to reunite for one more row together.
Harvard Lights 2020, aka Boyce RC
In all, 16 schools put together entries, and given how hard it has to be to pull a full class together now some 18 months on from that ill-fated senior season, it was great to see so many groups of happy young alums making the effort to be here in Boston for each other.
row2k heard of at least a few schools that managed to get their entire 2020 Class boated up, including the Harvard Lights, Cornell Women, and 7 members of Wellesley's 2020 seniors.
A "full 7" was also the head count for the winning Brown Women, and for them, that was their full class reunited for the first time in a boat since the day they found out they were all going home to wrap up their final year online.
We caught up with the Bruno Women while they waited to collect at the Awards tent and asked them-Alaena Roberds, Andrea Bernhardt, Julia Lynn, Louise Sommer, Tessa Mackey, Cate Porter and coxswain Anna Odell-how it felt to get the band back together again:
row2k: What was it like to race in the boat today, as a class?
Alaena Roberds: Great-I think our last time being all together was March 2020 and this was our first time rowing [since]. Literally today was most of our "first times" rowing since then.
Tessa Mackey: Right [laughing]-I haven't touch an oar since March 10th, 2020.
row2k: Anna, what was it like to steer this class one more time down the race course?
Anna Odell: It was so fun. We had quite a time on the race course. We hit a pause at Eliot to get around and get the inside turn on UVA, and then we passed them on the turn-it was really fun.
Louise Sommer: We took a nice "10" for our 2020 season.
Alaena Roberds: She called it for our senior season-it was a great call.
Anna Odell: It was just really fun being back. This is our whole class, all seven of us, all back in the boat together. We all came back for this.
row2k: Great, so: next year again?
Anna Odell: We are still on a bit of a high. We all thought we might flip getting back in the boat again, so honestly: knowing that we can still row, that was pretty fun.
In fact, according to stroke Alaena Roberds, racing the Charles seems to be a whole lot better when you get to do it in an alum eight, so we’re not surprised that these 2020 Bruno’s are hooked and plan to be back.
The rest of the schools that got in on the fun, and met the regatta guideline of having at least 75% of the crew being 2020 grads were: Boston College, Boston University, Bowdoin, Columbia (men and women), Cornell, Dartmouth Lights, FIT, Harvard Lights, Manhattan, Middlebury (men and women), Northeastern, Villanova, Washington College, Wellesley, and Williams-well rowed '20's!