Oct. 18, 2001
Seattle - Washington will send two rowers and a coxswain to the prestigious 37th annual Head of the Charles Regatta, Oct. 27-28 in Boston, Mass. Anna Mickelson (Bellevue, Wash.), Heidi Hurn (Redmond, Wash.) and coxswain Mary Whipple (Sacramento, Calif.) reunite with the United States National Team women's eight-oared crew that raced at the 2001 World Championships in August.
Eight of the nine members from the US women's eight that finished fourth at the championships in Lucerne, Switzerland will race at the Head of the Charles. Whipple, Kate Johnson, Caroline Ingham, Megan Dirkmaat, Mickelson, Hurn, Kate Ronkainen, and Wendy Wilbur narrowly missed out on a medal in Switzerland, finishing just 0.56 seconds behind third place Germany.
Ali Cox, who helped the women's four to a fourth-place finish at the world championships, will complete the Charles' lineup. Canada and the Netherlands are the top international crews competing against the U.S. Sunday in a field that also includes a host of top collegiate crews. The defending Head of the Charles' champions from Princeton University earned the first bow number and the chance to lead the pack down the course.
In addition, former Husky Nicole Borges, who helped lead the Washington women's team to its third NCAA championship last June, will be competing at the regatta with the Canadian National Team.
In Boston, crews from Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Croatia are scheduled to compete, along with several traditional collegiate powers. The Head Of The Charles Regatta, the world's largest two-day rowing event, was first held on October 16, 1965. The race was established by the Cambridge Boat Club. Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest Arlett proposed that a "head of the river" race similar in tradition to races held in his native England, be held on the Charles River.
"Head" races, a class of regattas, are generally three miles long-boats race against each other and the clock, starting sequentially approximately fifteen seconds apart. Winners of each race receive the honorary title of "Head of the River" or, in this case, "Head Of The Charles."
Washington's Fall season includes a pair of races, the Portland Loop Nov. 3 and Head of the Lake Nov. 10 in Seattle. The 2002 racing season officially begins with Class Day, March 30, and the San Diego Crew Classic, April 6-7, 2002.