Men's Crew takes 5th and 14th at Head of the Charles

Men's Crew takes 5th and 14th at Head of the Charles

Boston, MA—Battling tough conditions the Eph men's crew pushed through to finish 5th and 14th. The Ephs competed in the collegiate eight event that brought 37 teams to race on the 4.8km course. Williams was the only team that had a second varsity boat because of their consistent ability to place in the top 20, earning an automatic qualifier.

The first varsity boat, with bow number 1, crossed the start line first into a 20 mph gusting headwind. The second varsity followed a few minutes behind at bow number 15. In head races, teams are assigned a number based on the previous year's performance. Teams are then sent onto the course at around fifteen second intervals creating a time trial format race. 

Rival crew Virginia directly followed the Ephs. The boat held off a strong Virginia crew for the majority of the race, but eventually yielded. The Ephs didn't give up, however, and held onto the Virginia crew for the rest of the race, gaining 3 seconds in the last section of the course. Originally the first boat placed third behind Virginia and Michigan, who started far back in the race, but because of a buoy penalty of 10 seconds, the crew fell to 5th behind Grand Valley State and Drexel.

Varsity 1

The strong headwind was transformed into all types of crosswinds throughout the challenging and curvy course making steering difficult for crews. The times were also significantly slower because of conditions, with Virginia clocking a raw time (without penalties) of 15:34.2, the Williams 1V at 15:50.7, and the Williams 2V at 16:22.8. "The conditions were incredibly challenging," notes co-captain Zach Tarlow, "but by focusing on blade work and stroke length we were able to adapt our rowing successfully."

The second varsity hit a high note by breaking last year's record of the fastest Williams 2V ever at the Charles by improving two places to 14th. The second boat found themselves starting behind Wesleyan who provided a great target to chase down. Though the Williams 2V did not catch the Wesleyan 1V, they were able to push away from the crews behind them due to a consistent effort by all of those in the boat. "The Charles is a difficult course for all involved, and it really helped that our coxswain put us on a good line so we could do what we have been training for," comments stroke Isaiah Clark

Head Coach Peter Wells reminded the crew that there were no expectations of them. The boat that won the Charles last year had graduated and was replaced by a new and inexperienced crew that featured two freshmen and four sophomores. "I am not upset with today's performance. I think our guys went out and rowed a gutsy race and showed a high level of determination. Every journey has its ups and downs. Moving forward, we are going to focus our training on entering the spring season as fit as possible."

Despite not getting the medal they were aiming for, the Williams 1V still finished ahead of all the crews they typically race in the spring—most notably Bucknell in 6th, Wesleyan in 8th, Trinity in 11th, Middlebury in 13th, and Bates in 18th. The Ephs will look to expand on these margins next weekend at the Head of the Fish and onwards as they head into winter training.

  First Varisty
Cox Maggie Hughes '15
8 Erick Quay '14
7 Phillip Oung '16
6 John Gorman '13

Dylan Barber '15

4 Logan Jester '16
3 Russell Taylor '15
2 Connor McLane '15

Alexander Nanda '15

  Second Varisty
Cox Salmaan Karim '15
8 Isaiah Clark '15
7 Parker Finch '14
6 Peter Awad '15
5 Nate Barker '13
4 Zach Tarlow '13
3 Alex Ellison '16
2 Neeko Gardner '15
Bow  Peter Ellis '14
Varsity 2