On October 19-21st, the Pine Crest boys’ and girls’ crew teams visited Cambridge, Massachusetts to race in the 54th annual Head of the Charles Regatta. The race takes place on the Charles River, and the boats all row by the Boston University boathouse and the Harvard boathouses. Both the girls’ and boys’ boats placed well despite the weather, which was much windier and colder than last year, affecting the time and path of the course.
The crew team landed in Boston at 9:30 AM on Friday, and immediately started preparing for the race on Sunday. The team launched and practiced for about an hour on the race course, to practice the turns and find the perfect point under bridges.
Alexa Jacques, senior and stroke seat on the girls’ boat explains, “The weather conditions were definitely different this year, but I had such a great experience traveling with my team.” Alexa also went with the team to the Head of the Charles last year, where she rowed bow seat.
The Head of the Charles is a difficult race for both the rowers and the coxswains, as the bridges and turns make it hard to steer around other boats. The boats all go through many bridges while racing. First, the boats cross the DeWolfe Boathouse, home of the Boston University rowing team. Next, the boats go under the Railroad bridge, then the BU bridge, and immediately following the two bridges is the “Powerhouse stretch.” The “Powerhouse stretch” is about 1,500 meters of straight rowing. This is where most boats pass each other, and this area is a major part of a crew’s race.
The crews then row by Riverside Boat Club, a prestigious team whose boathouse is located directly on the Charles River. Immediately following Riverside Boat Club comes Riverstreet Bridge, the third bridge of the race. Around here, the crews have rowed for about one mile. Next comes Western Bridge, then Weeks Bridge, and the Weld Boathouse (Harvard), which marks the two-mile point. Lastly, the crews row under the Elliott Bridge and complete the third mile of the race.
While the girls did not make the top 50% in their race, the boys’ boat did get 38th place in their race, therefore receiving an automatic bid for next year’s regatta. The girls are hoping to receive a bid to compete in next year’s regatta.
Overall, both the girls’ and boys’ crews placed well and had an amazing experience in Boston. They look forward to competing at the 55th annual Head of the Charles Regatta next year.
Sources: EPA, HOCR