Men’s crew grabs gold at Head of the Charles

Men’s crew traveled to Boston last weekend to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta. Both boats competed in the men’s collegiate eight category. The men’s 1V took home first place overall and the 2V snared 16th place. This year’s result was an improvement from the team’s performance last year, when the 1V placed second to rival Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) by nearly 10 seconds. FIT finished 25th overall last weekend.

“We had an atrocious week [of preparation] leading up to the Charles because the weather was so bad. We didn’t have the ability to really practice,” Head Coach Peter Wells said. “I told the team to focus on what they could do for the team. There is no way this success would have happened if the guys hadn’t been looking out for each other.”

There was a strong headwind at the start of the race, leading to slow splits. However, once the race got going, the river was calm and conducive to racing.

The 1V started strong and maintained distance from the second-place boat from the University of Virginia. The men were in first place throughout the race. The Ephs created a four-second lead over the Cavaliers in the first split, ultimately winning by 10 seconds.

“The 1V decided to start really close to Florida Institute of Technology, so we would have less margin between them and us,” Wells said. “It meant that we had some turbulence from their hull, but we passed them in the first mile. Ultimately, it came down to who could execute the nuances of this plan and maneuver the race best, and we were successful.”

The 1V boat finished the race in first place with a time of 15:09.57, ahead of the University of Virginia, which finished in 15:20.12, and 20 seconds ahead of Georgia Tech, which completed the race in 15:30.02. The men’s 1V boat featured a mix of veterans and rookies: Stroke Alexander Treco ’12 and coxswain Michelle McRae ’12 led a boat that held rowers from all four class years.

The 2V finished in 16th place in 15:57.12, behind 15th-place Wesleyan, who turned in a time of 15:54.93, and just ahead of Marist, who finished in 15:57.68. The 2V raced in more traffic than the 1V, with boats jostling for position. The 2V crew surpassed squads from Marist, WPI, University of Delaware and Bates during the course of the race. “Last year we had a much more experienced boat,” Wells said. “This year the 2V is last year’s novice eight and Matt Crimp [’12], who did a fantastic job providing senior leadership for a young group of guys.”

As the 1V and 2V were competing in the same race, the 2V result is particularly impressive because it was competing against the 1V boats of many schools in the competition.

The men will race in the Head of the Fish Regatta at Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Sunday. This will be the final regatta of the fall season.