Oct. 21, 2012
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The defending national champions sent two boats to the 48th Annual Head of the Charles Regatta to compete in both the Championship 4 and the Championship 8 races on Sunday afternoon. The event--deemed the largest crew event in the world--features over 9,000 athletes competing in 55-races over the course of two days.
In their first race of the day, the Huskies placed second overall behind Stanford in the Championship 4 with a time of 16:56:76. Because the Huskies had not competed in the fours race in a number of years, they started in the 17th position out of 20 boats. Coxed by junior Joshua Klein, the Huskies had to pass several boats on their way to a time that was only six seconds behind the first place finisher. Head Coach Michael Callahan was pleased with performance of his four boat.
"We passed four or five boats and we had a few clashes," said Callahan. "It was a really strong effort by the four."
The Championship 8 race didn't end without some drama. After starting the race in position three, the Huskies finished five seconds ahead of second place Harvard and ten seconds ahead of third place California with a time of 14:37:27, but was penalized for hitting a buoy--automatically adding ten seconds to their original time. The penalty dropped UW from first to third, but Callahan and the Huskies appealed the call. The penalty was eventually overturned and the Huskies celebrated their second first-place finish in the last three years at the prestigious event. Senior Seamus Labrum coxed the winning boat for Huskies.
At one point during the race, the Huskies got tangled up the U.S National Team, a boat that featured several Olympians from this past summer's London games. Despite having to stop and start again, the Huskies pulled it together to come away with the win.
"We caught up with the U.S. National Team and got tangled up with them," said Callahan. "We actually stopped and had to start again. That was pretty emotional. To catch that boat, filled with Olympians, was a big deal for us."
Overall, Callahan was impressed with all of his rowers, praising them for the effort they gave in their first event of the year.
"It was a tremendous effort all around," he said. "We rowed fast. It was incredible. It was a tremendous effort from all 12 rowers and both coxswains. This is a coxswain's race, so I give a lot of credit to Seamus Labrum and Joshua Klein."
The 3.1-mile course winds along the Charles River, beginning at the Boston University boathouse and continuing upstream under multiple bridges. The event attracts over 300,000 spectators that line the banks of the river to watch some of the best rowers in the world. The Head of the Charles Regatta is an unconventional crew event in that it is a time-trail race where the teams' starts are staggered and the time is recorded when they cross the finish line at the end of the course.
For complete race results visit the regatta's official site.
The Husky Women's Crew is up next as they head to the Head of the American next weekend in Rancho Cordova, Calif., the site of this year's (men's) IRA National Championships.