Haddonfield Crew Competes at Head of the Charles Regatta


Photo Credit: BostonDiscoveryGuide.com

A crew team rows along the Charles River in Boston, MA.

Lauren Crumley, Contributing Writer

Last month, the Haddonfield Girls Crew team traveled to the 55th Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, MA. The Head of the Charles, or HOCR for short, is the largest two-day regatta in the world, with approximately 11,000 athletes competing. Representing about 800 different rowing organizations, the athletes come from high schools, colleges, masters teams, and various elite and national teams from across the world. Haddonfield competed in the Women’s Youth Coxed Quad and Women’s Youth Eight category.

The weekend began early on Friday morning with a 5:00 a.m. departure from Haddonfield to Boston. It was integral for the team to get to Boston early so they had enough time to practice the course. The course is renowned for being very challenging, as it spans three miles along the Charles River through seven bridges and very sharp turns.

Once the team arrived at the river, they launched the boats and rowed four laps, totaling about 12 miles of rowing. Getting to know the course proved to be very beneficial for both the rowers and coxswains, as the Charles River is unlike any other course the team is used to. After about three hours of practice, they went back to the hotel and had time to relax and eat dinner after a busy day.

On Saturday, the team spent more time at the course during the morning. While the rowers did a group run of the river, the coxswains attended a class on steering the course with the former Olympic coxswain Yaz Farooq. Then, the whole team explored the venue and got to visit the many tents lining the banks of the river. All regattas have food and apparel tents, but because the Head of the Charles is such a large and prestigious regatta, many of the sponsors had their own tents as well. Brooks Brothers, LaCroix, Hunter Boots, Clif Bar, and Aston Martin were all sponsors of the regatta with tents for competitors and spectators to enjoy.

After an exciting morning at the river, the team had the rest of the day free to stay at the river, explore Boston, or visit colleges. That evening, the athletes, parents, and coaches all had a team dinner at a restaurant in Boston in preparation for the races the next day.

Sunday morning provided near-perfect conditions for racing. The coxed quad of Lily Mersky, Lillian Leimkuhler, Halle Maskery, Bella Lee, and Juliet Noah finished 25th out of 43 boats in a time of 19:32.289. The eight of Ava Cottone, Eva Hess, Suzanne Tucker, Mia Tarditi, Emma Broder, Autumn Egan, Emma Barson, Izzy DeKluyver, and Lauren Crumley finished 79th out of 85 boats in a time of 19:33.901.

Overall, it was a great weekend for the Girls Crew team. All of the athletes enjoyed the trip and hope to be able to attend next year’s regatta.