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Bulldogs Set to Compete at 49th Head of the Charles Regatta

Owen Symington. (photo by Don Clark, Yale sports publicity)
Owen Symington. (photo by Don Clark, Yale sports publicity)

NEW HAVEN, Conn.- This weekend the men's heavyweight crew team will head to Cambridge, Mass., to compete in the 49th annual Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR).  The squad will race in three events over the course of the two-day regatta. On Saturday at 2:04 p.m., the Elis will compete in the Men's Club Eight event, in which they placed second last year.  On Sunday, they will race again in the Men's Championship Fours event, starting at 2:31 p.m., and then for a final time at 2:54 p.m. in the Men's Championship Eight.

 HOCR Through History

The regatta itself, first held in 1965, is one of the most memorable of the racing season, featuring ex-Olympians and world record holders.  It was started at the recommendation of an English coach to three members of the Cambridge Boat Club.  He told them about the "head of the river" racing style from his home in England, and urged them to start a tradition on their own river.  "Head" races are a type of regatta generally around three miles in length, much longer than the classic championship sprint-style racing in the spring. Boats compete against one another and ultimately the clock, as they are judged on the final time, plus penalties, it takes for them to complete the course.


In recent years the regatta has been chock-full of international rowing stars.  Last year, the highly publicized "Great Eight", a boat full of eight powerhouse scullers including at-the-time recent Olympic champion Mahe Drysdale, competed.  Also featured last year was world-champion Gevvie Stone, a Boston native.  Last year and returning this year in the USRowing entry of the Men's Championship Eight event is Eli alum and two-time U23 gold medalist in the eight, Tom Dethlefs '12.  Another Eli alumnus featured in that boat, sitting in front of Dethlefs, will be 2012 Olympic bronze medalist in the men's four, Charlie Cole '07.

 HOCR in 2013

Sophomore Henry Bird, who will stroke the Club Eight, expressed excitement for the team to build on the momentum from last year, when the Elis took second in the event.

 "We're looking forward to the club eight race this year.  The boat got silver last year, so we're going for gold."
The Club Eight event will begin at 2:04 p.m. on Saturday and will feature 47 crews, with Yale's boat starting second, bow number two.  Competitors will include common opponents from the Bulldogs' spring racing season as well as smaller colleges and rowing clubs.
The Championship Four will race at 2:31 p.m. on Sunday and Yale's crew will start with bow number 10.  Twenty boats are entered in the event, comprised of a similar representation of schools and clubs as the Club Eight event.
The Bulldogs' last and most competitive event will start at 2:54 p.m. on Sunday, the Men's Championship Eight event. They will start 17th in a field of 32.  The Championship Eight event will feature boats from universities on both coasts and different continents, as well as multiple large international clubs. After a strong showing last year, the Elis are prepared to put down a fast time that will carry them into a winter of training.

Full schedule, lists of events, teams and individual competitors can be found here.


For an explanation of the lay-out of the event and transportation, click here.


If you can not make the event but would like to watch online, find the link here.


Yale's heavyweight Schedule 2013

 Saturday, Oct. 19-

Race #18, 2:04 p.m.- Men's Club Eights- Yale University Bow #2

Sunday, Oct. 20-

Race #46, 2:31 p.m.- Men's Championship Fours- Yale University Bow #10

Race #48, 2:54 p.m.- Men's Championship Eights- Yale University Bow #17


Report filed by Ari Zimmet '16, Yale Sports Publicity.