Crew races Head of the Charles
This past weekend, Colby College crew made its presence felt at the Head of the Charles Regatta. Held annually on the Charles River, which connects Boston to Cambridge, the Regatta is the world’s largest two-day rowing affair.
Every October, more than 300,000 spectators from all over the world descend on the banks of the Charles to watch the 8,000 plus rowers compete in 56 events. Since its inception in 1965, the Regatta has grown into the nation’s most prestigious crew event; the race even has its own Twitter page (@HOCR1965). The races themselves are held in the “Head” format, in which the starts of teams are staggered by 15 seconds to avoid collisions. Teams seek to cover the 3.2-mile course in the shortest time.
Colby’s men’s and women’s crew teams entered into the Collegiate eights events, which feature teams of eight rowers and a coxswain from colleges and universities across the country.
The Colby women’s team, consisting of Anna Leschen-Lindell ’13, Allie Bolger ’13, Lis Henderson ’11, Charlotte Gardiner ’13, Amy Paulekas ’11, Molly Clark ’13, Rachel Jacobs ’13, Elise DeSimone ’12 and Katie Ricciardi ’12, finished 25th out of 31 boats with a time of 18 minutes, 26.185 seconds.
The women finished ahead of New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) rivals such as Middlebury and Tufts. Williams College Boat Club took first place in the Women’s Collegiate eights division with a time of 16:24.219.
Dan Abrams ’13, Jack Vihstadt ’12, Peter Smithy ’12, David Cramer ’12, Andrew Wall ’12, Noah Teachey ’13, Nate Krump ’13, Will Brewer ’11 and Pat Adams ’13 led the men’s team to a 28th place finish in the field of 42. It took coxswain Abrams and the rest of the crew 15:57.272 to navigate the winding Charles. Adams said that the team was content with their effort, if not the results: “We finished 28th out of 42 boats…which is about where we finished last year. We were expecting to improve off of that, but I think the boat agreed that we rowed our best possible race.”
While the Colby crew contingent participates in the collegiate events, the Head of the Charles also includes races made for a variety of ages and skill levels. Several Colby alumni were entrants in this year’s regatta, including both men’s and women’s alumni eights boats. The men’s alumni boat placed 35th out of 43 boats, while the women finished 22nd out of 32.
Also succeeding at the Regatta was Steve Whelpley '05, who rowed to a fifth place finish in a field of 27 boats. Whelpley competed in the Men’s Championship Singles division.
The current Colby rowers take on Bowdoin and Bates in the annual fall CBB head race at the Hume Center and welcome the support of the student body.