CRLS Sets Team Record at the 56th Head of the Charles


Allison Hunter Korn

Seniors Anna Bellows, Isla Mitchell, Grace Van Bever, Aliki Hollister, and Noe Shoor representing CRLS in the girls varsity boat.

Esther Fu, Opinion Editor

From October 22nd to October 24th, the Head of the Charles—the world’s largest rowing regatta—kindled excitement in the rowing community for the 56th year, with 2,231 entries from 619 boat clubs around the world. On this three-mile course on the Charles River, three four-person boats represented the CRLS rowing team: two womens’ and one mens’.

Adding onto their successful season, the girls’ boats placed tenth and 43rd out of 87, and the boys placed 28th out of 84, setting a new record for the team whose previous best finish was 12th place. Head coach of the CRLS girls varsity team, Lane Lauriat, told the Register Forum, “[The rowers] have been working so hard all season … Today, we were super fortunate, lucky, and blessed to have the best-ever finish for the CRLS girls’ team … it is definitely beyond what I imagined in terms of the results.”

When you can’t row with your legs anymore, row with your heart.

Isla Mitchell ’22, who rowed in the record-breaking girls’ four recounted her experience of their successful race to the Register Forum, “We set our intentions and made a plan … in the end, we spread [our] wings, and flew like a falcon.” Later, the rowers in the boat—Mitchell, Anna Bellows ’22, Grace Van Bever ’22, and Aliki Hollister ’22—came to a consensus that their coxswain, Noe Shoor ’22, motivated them most through these words: “When you can’t row with your legs anymore, row with your heart.”

The Charles River, notorious for its bridges and sharp turns, is said to be one of the most difficult courses to navigate. Despite these challenges, coxswain of the boys four, Jacob Carolan ’22 maneuvered the course skillfully, completing it in 250 meters less than the official length of the race course, while encouraging Imran Hussain ’22, Lucas Cannistraro ’22, Nelson Bellows ’22, and Oliver Leek ’23. Hussain, who bowed the boat, reflected to the Register Forum, “We knew the route pretty well because this is our home river, so we just had to apply the power … we tapped down together, got our blades in, and pulled hard.” Cannistraro in two-seat added, “Our biggest competition today was ourselves, we had to get through that mental barrier.”

The second girls boat, coxed by Keelin Ercolani ’22, finished one place lower than they needed to qualify them for next year’s regatta. Nevertheless, the rowers, Kelton Aldridge ’23, Marika Hollister ’24, Charlotte Moldrem ’24, and Audrey O’Donnell ’23, have more opportunities to race and set more records at this event in future years.

We tapped down together, got our blades in, and pulled hard.

Additionally, CRLS students Coco Sequeira ’23 and Sasha Henry ’23 represented Community Rowing Inc., an award-winning club team, with an eight-person boat, placing third in the U17 category and 36th out of 76 in the general race. “We have a huge advantage and privilege, being able to row on this river every day,” Sequeira told the Register Forum. “It was exciting to see so many people from different places gather in our home river.”

The team’s successful finishes automatically qualified them for two entries in the 57th Head of the Charles in 2022. Before next year’s regatta, the team will race through the spring season, which Lauriat has high hopes for. “Having such a big team with so many people who are working hard and trying to go fast, I think we are going to have some really good races next spring.”

This piece also appears in our November 2021 print edition.