CRLS Crew Battled it out in the 57th Head of the Charles


Allison Hunter Korn

The girls 1V places thirteenth at the 2022 Head of the Charles.

Boone Gross, Sports Editor

On the penultimate weekend in October, the rowing world descends on Boston for a shot at the most famous 4,800 meters in the sport: The Head of the Charles Regatta. That includes the CRLS crew team. 

At precisely 8:19 AM on October 23rd, the Women’s Youth Four event got underway with the ‘A’ (occupied by Charlotte Moldrem ’24, Audrey O’Donnell ’23, Marika Hollister ’24, Rivka Zickler ’24, and Esther Fu ’23) and ‘B’ (occupied by Chloe Yang ’23, Eman Abdurezak ’23, Grace Gillig ’23, Jing O’Neil ’23, and Annie Stone-Peterson ’24) boats occupying the 10th and 42nd start in the 90-boat field respectively. The reigning Northeast champs got down to business in a hurry, streaking to the first checkpoint at Riverside boat club at 8th fastest in the field. However, the boat began to lose steam down the stretch to the Eliot Bridge turn, battling with bow 11 Saugatuck for the best line going into the infamous 90-degree bank. “We were trying to get the tightest line possible,” said stroke seat Charlotte Moldrem to the Register Forum. “[Saugatuck] was trying to pass on the inside but we didn’t yield. We thought we were going to get a penalty.” With some excellent maneuvering through the familiar turns by coxswain Esther Fu, the boat stayed comfortably above the qualification line coming to the penultimate turn, and then, hit the jets. A 40-stroke sprint pulled the girls a spot up to finish 13th with a time of 19:02 and easy requalification. As for the B boat, their day was not so successful, finishing 3rd to last with a time of 23 minutes precisely. 

A 40-stroke sprint pulled the girls a spot up to finish thirteenth with a time of 19:02 and easy requalification.

The boys had a more controversial outing. The ‘A’ boat (occupied by Roy Bellows ’25, Dean Bittker ’25, Dylan Skenderian ’23, Eli Kanner ’23, and Erick Garcia ’24) got off to a fighting start, powering to Riverside with a time of 3:38, 15th in the 90-boat field. But hopes for comfortable requalification died as the boys hit the River St-Weeks stretch, falling to 35th. The crew kept their heads above water coming to Cambridge Boat Club, standing at 44th. Locked in a head-to-head fight coming to the bridge, the boat found itself being choked against the buoys, the bridge piling, and South Jersey Rowings ‘A’ boat. Coxswain Erick Garcia screamed for the opposing coxswain to yield his slower boat, but was ignored. The pocket closed, oars clashed and the Falcon’s bow seat, Eli Kanner, caught an overhead crab—stopping the boat dead under the bridge. Executing recovery procedures flawlessly, the boat tried to get back underway, but the crabbed oar had flipped backward, further delaying the boat. 

The ordeal cost the boat at least ten seconds, without accounting for the off-kilter sprint that ensued. The boys had the sixth-worst final stretch time, 15 seconds below average (3:20). The boys finished 54th, 9 spots and 18 seconds from safety with a time of 18:08. Coach Kate Smith appealed for a penalty to South Jersey which wasn’t granted, adding salt to the wound. Coach Smith didn’t mince words when she told the Register Forum, “Given [South Jersey’s] behavior they deserve to receive [a penalty]. It’s important when these situations happen [that] crews are held responsible for their actions, because the position that they put our team in was a very dangerous one.” 

This article also appears in our November 2022 print edition.