Oct. 19, 2006
Seattle, Wash. - The Washington rowing team will send a pair of crews to Boston this weekend for the 2006 Head of the Charles. The men and women will both row in the Championship Eights event, which will cap a full weekend of racing as more than 8,000 athletes will compete in over 50 events. A quarter of a million spectators are expected to attend the event, as competitors row upstream from the Boston University's DeWolf Boathouse along a three-mile course (4,828 meters) to Herter Park on Soldier's Field Road in Brighton.
Racing begins on Saturday morning with the Grand-Master Singles 50+ event at 8:45 a.m. (ET). Competitions will continue throughout the day, with the final race, Championship Singles, slated to begin at 3:37 p.m. (ET). On Sunday, competition begins at 7:45 a.m. (ET) with Senior-Veteran Singles, and wraps with the men's Championship Eights at 4:10 p.m. and the women's Championship Eights at 4:26 p.m.
Washington has not sent a team to compete at the Head of the Charles since 2002. That year, the Husky women's four was the top finisher among the 18 entries from American colleges. The Huskies' time of 19:02 was 16 seconds faster than their East Coast rival Brown University, which finished fifth overall in 19:19.
The men's boat will be competing against 42 of the best teams from around the world, including the U.S. National Team, who had won nine-straight championship Eights before Cambridge University Boat Club captured the 2004 crown. Last year, Princeton became the first U.S. university since the U.S. Naval Academy won the title in 1983. The Championship Eights is expected to be one of the Regatta's premier races.
The women's squad will be in a field of 46, which also includes two boats from the U.S. National Team, as well as the top collegiate teams from around the world. The London Training Center (Canadian National Team) has captured four championships, while the U.S. Team seeks its fourth title in six years and second straight. Princeton University is the only U.S. College team to capture the women's Champ 8's title in the last 17 years (2000).