Next Stop: Boston

Oct. 20, 2006

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Along with the rest of the rowing world, the Yale women's crew team will be turning their attention to the 42nd Head of the Charles regatta this weekend. The Bulldogs hope to cement their position as one of the top collegiate women's crews in the country with strong performances on Sunday. Competition begins at 12:41 pm.

Although this will be Yale's first chance of the new season to scout some of the competition around the country for the Spring, some faces will be familiar. Among the hundreds of crews attending the Head of the Charles will be Northeastern University, who Yale saw two weeks ago at the Head of the Housatonic. At that event, the Bulldogs and Huskies split the difference in the 4+ event, while Yale finished first and second in the 8+.

The other entries for the regatta read like a who's who in collegiate rowing. National Champions Princeton, and NCAA finalists Brown and Ohio State will all be there. In addition, several rowing clubs, include the USRowing training center in Princeton, N.J. will be in attendance.

But none of this will phase Head Coach Will Porter's team. The Bulldogs finished sixth overall and third among collegiate crews last year on the Charles, and with a strong senior class leading the charge, the Bulldogs are setting their sights high for Sunday.

"This year's squad has more depth than we have had in the past two years," Porter said. "There is plenty of healthy inter-squad competition for seats. We also have more athletes racing this year than before, which makes it more of a team event."

Although a change in NCAA regulatiions prevents Yale from defending its Youth Eights title from 2005, the Bulldogs will be competing in three separate events. The Collegiate Eights event will begin at 12:41 pm on Sunday, and will be followed by the Championship Fours at 15:23 and the Championship Eights at 16:26. In keeping with head-style racing, boats will start the three mile upstream course at staggered intervals, racing against the clock. The course includes five bridges and is attended annually by thousands of spectators.

"This race is a total zoo, the crowd along the shore is massive , the river is cluttered with crews, hotels are price gouging, restaurants are packed and the athletes love it, they love every minute of it," Porter said.

For more spectator information and for live results, visit the Head of the Charles website .

Report filed by Jamie Cordes '07, Yale Sports Publicity