Oct. 22, 2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - The defending National Champion Washington men's crew program is back on the water at the 47th annual Head of the Charles Regatta. More than 8,000 athletes will compete along the Charles River in what is billed as the largest two-day rowing competition in the world. In the past, upwards of 300,000 spectators have lined the banks to watch the athletes and universities compete on the winding 3.2 mile course.
This year, only the men's crew program is making the lengthy trip to Boston for the HOCR. The Husky women's team will remain home to prepare for next week's Head of the American in Rancho Cordova, Calif.
The Huskies race in the talent-laden Championship Eight portion of the draw. The men's crew is set to race first at 11:45 a.m. (PST), and will go off first, followed by Harvard. Other notable teams in the men's bracket include California, Brown, Northeastern, the U.S. Naval Academy, Yale and Syracuse.
Race updates are available in real time on the official Head of the Charles website at http://www.hocr.org/results/results_static.asp. This year, a live webcast of the race is also available on the site. A post-race recap will be posted on GoHuskies.com following the event's conclusion.
Husky Success At The HOCR
Washington has been a frequent competitor at the Head of the Charles, fulfilling a program ethos to race in the top venues and against the best competition the sport has to offer. The Huskies are defending champions at the event, and nearly set a course record last season on the Charles River. In 47 years of the HOCR, the Huskies have won the premier Championship Eight race twice.
Huskies Coaching Staff
Now in his fifth year as coach of the men's program, Michael Callahan has set a new precedent for success at UW. Last season, the Huskies won their 14th IRA title on the Cooper River in New Jersey, winning by open water over runner-up Harvard. Prior to taking over the men's coaching position, Callahan served for three seasons as the Huskies freshmen coach. A 1996 graduate of the University of Washington, Callahan has also been an active member on the international level, where he's competed and coached. Luke McGee handles the coaching duties for the freshmen, leading the Grunties to two IRA Gold Medals in the freshmen 8.
About the Course
The Charles River course stretches 3.2 miles, beginning at Boston University's DeWolfe Boathouse and ending before Northeastern University's Henderson Boathouse. Competitors will row underneath the Eliot Bridge, one of the most iconic scenes in Cambridge. The course features plenty of turns and twists, testing a coxswain's ability to steer and the bow pair's strength to maintain an even keel.
Scouting the Huskies
The UW men's crew program is coming off a 2011 season filled with superlatives, which included the IRA Gold Medal along with a fifth straight Ten Eyck Trophy, a feat never before accomplished in collegiate rowing. This year the Huskies are looking to repeat for the first time in 70 years, which the Dawgs won back-to-back IRA titles in 1940 and 41. This year, the Huskies will need to replace the talented Conlin McCabe, who is taking the year off to concentrate on competing in the 2012 Summer Olympics with Rowing Canada. The Huskies also have to replace the graduated Hans Struzyna, Anthony Jacob and Nenad Bulicic, all of whom competed in last year's varsity eight. Washington has three rowers (Brooks, Rudelj and Milovanovic) making their varsity debut.
Huskies Shine On International Stage
The Huskies had a banner summer on the international racing circuit. At the U-23 World Championships, a trio of UW oarsmen (Ty Otto, Alex Bunkers & Robert Munn) helped lead the United States to a gold medal in Amsterdam. Washington had nine oarsmen competing at the U-23 event, the most of any school in collegiate rowing. On the senior circuit, McCabe, Rob Gibson and Will Crothers were part of the Canadian men's eight that qualified for the London Olympics at the World Championships in Bled, Slovenia.
Upcoming for the Huskies
The Husky men are back at home on Nov. 6 to take part in the annual Head of the Lake Regatta.