Oct. 24, 2010
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - For the second time in three years, the Washington men's crew team is bringing home a win from the Head of the Charles Regatta.
This was one of the more dominant Husky performances in years, as the program's varsity 8+ came within one second of setting the course record on the 3.2 mile Charles River on Sunday, finishing with a time of 14:00.40.
Racing on ideal conditions (cool water, no current), the Huskies used a powerful finishing kick to overtake longtime rivals Harvard and Cal. The Crimson, racing on their home course, came in second, 1.9 seconds behind UW.
The course record (13:58.99) at the HOCR came in 1997 by a USRowing boat that featured current men's coach Michael Callahan. Afterwards, Callahan told reporters in Boston that the result "was the perfect scenario," meaning a Husky win, but the team leaves New England with his record intact.
Wisconsin initially took control of the race from the onset, establishing a lead at the race's first checkpoint at Riverside. Harvard responded with a powerful move, and by the second checkpoint the Crimson had taken a five-second lead over the 35-team field. Harvard would hold that lead through the Weld checkpoint, but the Huskies had the energy for a final push, overtaking the Crimson's time in the final portion of the race.
Washington was rowing without two varsity 8+ regulars (Anthony Jacob and Conlin McCabe), who are with Rowing Canada in New Zealand for the upcoming World Championships at Lake Karapiro. But the Huskies' depth is one of the touchstones of the program, and Callahan was able to tap two battle-tested rowers in Dusan Milovanovic and Nenad Bulicic to fill the void. Both rowers competed in National Championship winning boats at last year's IRAs. The duo made the boat after undergoing Washington's traditionally rigorous selection trials once the rowers returned to campus.
This year, the talk before the race was that the collegiate teams would have the advantage at the HOCR because most of the strongest international crews were training for the World Championships.
UW also won the Head of the Charles in 2008, its first win at the prestigious event. The Head of the Charles is the largest two-day race in the world, featuring 8,000 athletes and 300,000 fans that line the banks of the Charles.
Head of the Charles
Oct. 24, 2010
Lineup (bow to stern): Robert Munn, Nenad Bulicic, Ty Otto, Hans Struzyna, Hannes Heppner, Dusan Milovanovic, Tom Lehmann, Mathis Jessen, Valaree Fowler (coxswain).