Turning the Blue Charles Gold: Harvard rowers claim victories at the head of the 2022 Charles Regatta | Sports
Last weekend, hundreds of thousands of spectators flocked to the Charles River to watch collegiate, club and international rowers compete in the historic Head of the Charles Regatta. The race started near the Boston University boathouse, running three miles upstream from the Harvard campus. This year the river was packed with vendors and volunteers, bringing an even greater density of visitors to the square for this exciting three-day event.
With the regatta being tied to Harvard throughout its historic 55-year tradition, all four Crimson rowing teams have opened their seasons at this regatta. Different Harvard Boats won big at home, bringing home gold and silver medals to their boathouses.
Women’s Lightweight Rowing
Set to race a Championship Double, two Lightweight Fours and a Lightweight Eight, the Radcliffe lightweights performed exceptionally well for their first races of the year.
Although the Championship Double boat placed fourteenth, the other two races were quite exciting for Black and White.
The Lightweights had two boats in the twelve-team Fours race. One boat took eleventh place and the other fifth with a time of 18:22.710, just 15.785 seconds behind the winners, British Columbia.
The crown jewel for the Radcliffe lightweights was the Lightweight Eights race, in which they won the gold medal. Rowing with familiar competitors Princeton, Boston University and Georgetown, Harvard edged the Tigers by just 1.559 seconds to take first place.
The women’s lightweights will then travel to Lake Carnegie in Princeton, NJ for the Princeton Chase on Sunday, November 7.
Women’s heavyweight rowing
The Radcliffe heavyweights competed in five races: a Club Four, Club Eight, Championship Double, Championship Four and Championship Eight.
Although they ranked low for championship races, the heavyweights placed near the top for Club Four and Club Eight.
In Club Four, the Harvard boat took an impressive fourth place among more than 50 boats with a time of 18:31.757, behind Georgetown and Boston University, with Vesta Rowing Club of London, England crossing the line first.
In the Club Eight race, the heavyweights won the silver medal in a 40-boat race. The Crimson clocked a time of 16:30.348, just 2.372 seconds slower than first-placed Drexel.
Next, the Radcliffe heavyweights will row into the Foot of the Charles to close out their fall season on Saturday, November 12.
The Crimsons competed in two races on Sunday: the Lightweight Four and the Lightweight Eight, and were well represented in both races.
In Race Four, a boat from Harvard took fifth place out of 16 boats, posting a time of 16:04.279. The Ivy Penn foe finished in the top three, breaking the 16-minute mark with a 15:58.089.
A team from Harvard took first place in the Lightweight Eight race. His winning time of 13:59.587 was enough to beat Princeton and Yale, as well as Georgetown. Harvard’s other boat in the race achieved a respectable finish of 15:13.991, taking thirteenth place among the fifteen boats.
That Harvard lightweight gold medal was an exciting start to a much longer journey, which will continue at the foot of the Charles next Saturday before resuming in warmer waters next spring.
Men’s heavyweight rowing
This year, the Harvard heavyweights participated in a special fundraising event during the Head of the Charles Regatta. The team rowed to raise money for the Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and the Red Sox Foundation, raising just under $7,000.
The Robert Connor Dawes Foundation supports pediatric brain cancer research, care and development. Meanwhile, the Red Sox Foundation, the official charity of the Boston Red Sox, works to support youth, families, veterans and local communities with health, education and recreation.
The Crimson won a gold medal in the Club Eight race in its mission to raise funds for these two foundations. Harvard posted a quick 14:20.881, nearly seven seconds faster than second-placed Brown. Right behind the first-place Crimson rowers was another boat from Harvard, which finished fourth in 14:36.466. Almost all of the top five places in the Club Eight race came from the Ivy League, with the exception of third place, Cambridge locals the Riverside Boat Club.
Two boats from Harvard competed in the Club Four race, taking 18th and 23rd place among more than 45 boats. Harvard also had two boats in the Championship Eight, placing fourth and tenth in the 25-boat race.
The heavyweights will wrap up their fall season at the Foot of the Charles on Saturday, November 12.