Annual Regatta Brings Competition to the Charles

Rory Millar and Jonah Tauber

On Saturday, October 21st and Sunday, October 22nd, rowers came to Cambridge from all over the world to race in the 53rd annual Head of the Charles Regatta. The race, considered one of the most prestigious in the country, attracts professionals and amateurs alike, as well as high school and college teams.

The Head of the Charles is along a three mile course known for its sharp turns and many bridges, making it difficult to navigate through. There were 56 events in total this year in which rowers of all ages competed. The weather was beautiful, resulting in massive turnouts to watch the race on both days.

Many clubs at CRLS used the event as an opportunity to fundraise. For example, the CRLS UNICEF Club raised over $700, according to UNICEF Secretary Deirdre Keane.

CRLS had three boats total in the men’s and women’s “Youth Four” events of the race on Sunday. Senior Emma Andrew, who rowed in the girls boat, commented, “The conditions were perfect today!” The girls boat came in 32nd place out of 84 boats, qualifying them for next year’s regatta. “We felt strong and we could hear the crowd cheering for us,” Andrew concluded.

Junior Sara Jackson-MacManus was in the same boat and added, “There was no wind. It was the fastest time we’ve rowed the course.”

The first boys boat came in 38th place out of the 86 boats, qualifying them for next year, which junior Harry MacArthur considers a success. “The boat felt pretty good, and we passed some other boats,” he commented.

MacArthur also recognized the significance of the event and added, “It’s a huge race that happens basically in our backyard. … It’s definitely a great experience to be able to race in this event.”

Senior Caleb Mitchell was in the second boys boat and reflected on the race, saying, “[It was] quite exhilarating and long. Rowing with so many boats in close proximity is always a bit exciting … I feel as [though] I did the best I could and pulled my hardest. … It felt as if we connected and pulled together as a boat in a way we have not always previously.” The second boys boat came in 52nd place out of 86.

Junior Willem Parman also commented on what it is like to row in such an important race. “The Head [of the Charles] is the biggest race in the fall, so it’s exhilarating. Before the race it was terrifying, but during [the race], it is a battle and you try to win.”

Parman concluded, “After it’s all done, I think most people would say they were proud just to be in it.”

Correction: An earlier version of this piece said that the CRLS girls team came in 33rd. They came in 32nd.

This piece also appears in our October print edition.