NEW HAVEN, Conn. – This weekend the Yale heavyweight crew team will head to Boston for the 46th Annual Head of the Charles Regatta. Crews will be racing in four events: the club four, club eight, championship four and championship eight. Last year the Yale club eight brought home gold, and with an additional boat entered this year, the heavyweights are looking to come home with hardware once again.
The club eight and four will be contested on Saturday. The Bulldogs did not enter a club four last year, so that crew will start at the back of a field of 60 boats at 12:19 p.m. This is one of the larger men's events at the Charles. Yale will race against everyone from alumni crews and small regional clubs to long-time rival Harvard.
The club eight will start first at 1:14 p.m. on Saturday. This heavyweight crew will be rowing hard to defend its title and improve its winning time of 15:22.613 from last year. Hoping to chase them down will be two Charles River schools, with Boston University starting in second position and Harvard starting in third. Last year Boston University finished with a time 15:38.783, while Harvard posted a time of 15:40.754, including a 10-second penalty.
The more prestigious championship races are traditionally saved for last on Sunday. The champ four event begins at 2:33 p.m. Here the Bulldogs will start ninth behind Navy and in front of Northeastern after posting a time of 17:44.691 last year, finishing 13th.
The championship eight goes off at 2:55 p.m. on Sunday. Last year Yale finished 10th in this event with a time of 15:10.270. This year the Bulldogs will start eighth, behind Skadi Rowing Club Rotterdam and in front of Brown. The champ eight event includes boats from every Ivy League school, but the U.S. National Team and other elite international rowing clubs usually dominate the event. However, many senior teams will spend Saturday and Sunday travelling to New Zealand for the 2010 World Rowing Championships. With the world championships being held unusually late this year, many believe that the winner of the champ eight this Sunday will be a university crew.
All four classes of Yale heavyweight oarsmen will be competing this weekend, including freshman coxswain Oliver Fletcher, who coxed last year's Eton College crew to a 40-second win in the youth eight event.
The Head of the Charles is the world's largest two-day rowing event. The regatta draws in more than 8,000 athletes from around the world competing in 59 events. It attracts roughly 300,000 spectators to Boston and Cambridge over the course of the weekend.
A copy of the event schedule can be accessed here.
Report filed by Yale Sports Publicity