This weekend I was lucky enough to get up to Boston for the 50th anniversary of the Head of the Charles Regatta. For those of you who don't know, the Head of the Charles is the world's largest two-day rowing event, and basically the hottest fall regatta in the United States. Crews from all over the country (and the world!) come to compete, and it's a pretty exciting event.
The HOCR is a 3-mile "head race", meaning that crews are started a few seconds apart and try to finish the course in the fastest time possible. If you're gaining on the crew that started before you, you'll have to pass them, and if the boat in front of you don't yield, sometimes collisions can occur.
Stressful for coxswains, but much more exciting for spectators than your average sprint race!
The Princeton racing got off to a good start on Saturday with the Club 4+ event, in which we had a lightweight women's 4+ entered. Consisting of all-freshman rowers and a sophomore cox in a field of experienced (and often openweight!) crews, they ended up with a remarkable 12th place. Since Princeton didn't enter a boat in this category last year, they were given a very late start of 60th out of 61 boats-- they ended up passing 12 boats along the way.
The next day was when the fun really began, kicked off by an alumni boat of "Fat Cats" racing in the men's 4+ event.
Next were the heavyweight men, racing to a 9th place finish in the Men's Championship Eights category. The Champ 8+ event includes national and elite club teams, so the competition is fierce- Princeton was actually fifth among college crews.
The openweight women raced two boats in the Women's Championship 8+ event, with the first varsity finishing 10th overall (7th among college crews) and the second varsity close behind them in 16th place (11th among college crews.)
The lightweight women's team fielded another four for Sunday's lightweight 4+ event. They swept ahead to finish in first place in 19:03 minutes, a comfortable 14 seconds faster than second place Brock.
The lightweight men also had a successful day of racing: the first varsity boat won gold for the second year running! The second varsity also had a strong race, finishing 9th overall, 7th out of college crews, and a full 44 seconds faster than the next fastest 2V boat.
Congratulations to all Princeton athletes on a successful showing!