(r to l) The Gluckman Trophy, The Title IX Trophy, The Kurmakov Trophy, The Minzner Trophy
The Head of the Charles dedicated six new trophies this year, in a mid-afternoon ceremony on Saturday that featured three of the honorees-Ellen Minzner, John Fellows Romain, and Holly Metcalf-and honored two recently passed members of the rowing and Charles community as well as the upcoming 50th anniversary of Title IX.
In a statement, the HOCR said: "We are pleased to honor outstanding individuals, who have so positively impacted the sport of rowing and/or the Head of the Charles Regatta [and] additionally [to] recognize the legislation that increased inclusion and equity for women in sport through Title IX."
The Ellen Minzner Trophy
This trophy will be awarded each year to the winners of the LTA 4+, and was dedicated to Minzner, who has long been a tireless advocate for Para Rowing and inclusivity in the sport. Minzner, a five-time US Team member, 2 time World Champion, and past winner of the Head of the Charles, was introduced by her former teammate and Olympian Christine Smith Collins.
In her comments to row2k afterwards, Minzner spoke about how grateful she was to see Para events included on equal footing at the Charles: "This trophy really represents a new era of the Head of the Charles, because it the first trophy that we awarded to the athletes with disabilities. Myself and the Committee had really pushed to open the regatta up and, at that point, there were still a lot of unknowns about athletes with disabilities and how they might fit into the regatta. But the Regatta has really come around to embrace the inclusion and the Para events. Having this trophy really solidifies that the Para athletes are here and they are here to stay. They belong here, and they are champions."
Minzner also shared why the moment was so special to her: "All the people that got a trophy dedicated today, I have some connection with-maybe not directly Larry, but Nik of course, and Holly was my first coach on the National team. Betts Kent and Chris Ernst were people I looked up to as I was trying to get on the National Team. Just to be in that company is incredible."
The Nikolay Kurmakov Trophy
This trophy, to be awarded annually to the winners of the Women's Club Eight, was dedicated to the memory of long-time Riverside and Simmons College coach Nikolay Kurmakov.
While at Riverside, Kurmakov advocated constantly for club rowing and particularly the opportunities for post-collegiate athletes to be able to compete, and win, at the Charles-leading eventually to the special medals and categories that club crews like his Riverside women could compete for even as international and collegiate Division 1 crews began to proliferate at the regatta.
Former HOCR Director of Operations Lib Diamond delivered the introductory honors for her former coach, and later told row2k that "it's really wonderful that we were able to honor him here, at an an event that he loved. He was just an incredible man."
Kurmakov's wife and son were on hand to accept the trophy, which was christened with a bottle of Stolichnaya, in a nod to Kurmakov's Ukrainian roots and the accent with which he coached his crews out on the Charles for so many years.
Fittingly, Kurmakov's Riverside Boat Club won the Women's Club Eight event today, and will be the inaugural recipient of the trophy.
The John Fellows Romain Starters Trophy
Long time starter here at the Charles, John Fellows Romain, was honored with a trophy that bears his name and will be awarded to the winning Youth Men's 8 henceforth.
John Fellows Romain
HOCR Board Member Maureen Keefe introduced Romain, who began volunteering at the Regatta in 1978 and became the voice of the Start at BU in 1986. Having also served as Race Director, Communications Chair and head of Support Services, there are few aspects of the HOCR that have not benefitted from Romain's efforts over the years, but it is as the Starter that most competitors over the years have been influenced by Romain's dedication to service and the racing.
In accepting the dedication, Romain credited his reputation for always keeping the Charles on time to some advice that he, as a young Ithaca College graduate about to take over the starter's duties, received from Findley Meislahn, then the Head Coach at Cornell. When Romain asked Meislahn what he, as a collegiate coach, liked about the Charles, Meislahn wryly replied, "I like that it is a regatta that starts on time"-and so it has been ever since on Romain's watch.
The Larry Gluckman Trophy
Late collegiate coach Larry Gluckman was honored with the dedication of a trophy for the Men's Collegiate Eight, a race Gluckman won three times in four years during his tenure as Trinity's Head Coach-just one of the many places he led and coached over his storied career.
On hand were Gluckman crews from across his years at Princeton, Dartmouth, Trinity, and the National Team-and those gathered were reminded by Brack Baker, a Trinity alum and Managing Director of the Regatta, that Crew, spelled backwards, is "Werc" which was, as Baker noted, "one of Larry's things."
After Baker's introduction, he welcomed Victor Pisinski, Larry's roommate at Northeastern and himself a a bronze medalist on the 1971 Pan Am Team, to accept the dedication on behalf of the Gluckman Family.
Victor Pisinski, with one of the day's commemorative Larry Gluckman t-shirts
Afterwards, Trinity alum Ed Slater, who was on the committee which brought Gluckman to the school and rowed in two of the Trinity crews to win the event that now bears Gluckman's name, spoke with row2k:
"It means the world to us, who had the privilege of rowing for him and learning so much from him, to have his memory live on in this small way. But what has been even more staggering is the community from every part of the rowing world that has come together because of Larry, and to see how large Larry was, in his spirit and in his knowledge and love for the sport."
The Holly Metcalf Trophy
The new trophy for the Women's Master Eight was dedicated to Holly Metcalf, the longtime MIT coach who has spearheaded numerous initiatives to bring women into the sport, from Row As One, to G-Row Boston, and WeCanRow.
In her introduction, Maureen Keefe touched on Metcalf's accomplishments in her six years on the National Team, which included 5 World Championships and the Olympic Gold medal in 1984. The trophy will recognize Metcalf's many years of mentoring athletes and finding ways to bring the benefits of rowing to new groups.
The Title IX Trophy
Kathy Kirk, former Board Chair of the regatta, introduced this trophy, making note of the fact that women now make up fully 50% of the entries at the Head of the Charles and that, in the 50 years since Title IX, passed the number of girls in sport has grown from 1 in 27 to two in five today.
Accepting the trophy was Betts Kent, former Race Chair of the Regatta and member of the 1980 Women's Olympic Team.
For the record, the inaugural winners of these new trophies at HOCR55:
The Ellen Minzner Trophy - LTA 4+ - CRI
The Nikolay Kurmakov Trophy - W Club 8+ - Riverside BC
The John Fellows Romain Starters Trophy - Greenwich Crew
The Larry Gluckman Trophy - M Collegiate 8+ - MIT
The Holly Metcalf Trophy - W Master 8+ - Pocock
The Title IX Trophy - YW8+ - Greenwich Crew