Head of the Charles – Freezing, Fast, and Fun!

Well it was a blast racing in the Head of the Charles for the first time in 10 years.  It was also literally a blast of freezing, howling, headwind.  I’m glad I wasn’t racing a single!  I got slotted into 6 seat in a Dartmouth alumni boat entered as Ever Green Boat Club in the Masters 8+ on Saturday.  Great to see some familiar faces that I haven’t seen in years.

We ended up coming in 9th out of 23 boats, which is not too shabby with all of the national team reunion boats in that event.  We passed 3 boats, had to stop to avoid a crash at Eliot Bridge, and got passed by 2 stacked boats – Wide Load, with the Olympic Champion Danish lightweight straight four in it, started right behind us, and Kennebecasis, a Canadian national team reunion boat, just got us at Eliot although we tried our hardest to hold them off.

It was a ton of fun racing in a well-manned sweep boat.  The horsepower was amazing – at 6’3”, 190 I was one of the smallest guys in the boat.  As predicted, from a fitness standpoint the race was no problem, and the technique came together pretty well too.  I really noticed an ability to have a long, powerful finish, absolutely required in the headwind and with so many taller guys behind me.  Those kettlebell swings have made a big difference in my ability to finish long and strong.

I think we made the cut for a guaranteed entry next year, so bring it on!

Link to photo at Row2k:  yes the flame hat kept me warm and made us fast 🙂


Great video of us passing a French crew on the inside of the final turn – our coxswain really nailed it !


2 thoughts on “Head of the Charles – Freezing, Fast, and Fun!

  1. Totally awesome! Getting in the top half at HoTC is a great accomplishment–especially with that level of competition. Sounds like your output matches that of the tall dudes.

    My 2x partner was in the Masters Double race at the Charles; I myself raced in the Pumpkinhead in Colorado. Damn good time. Won the novice 1x, as well as the Mixed 2x with a rockin’ oarswoman from Dallas. It was my first experience with a head race, and I can honestly say I prefer the sprints.

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