Men’s crew qualifies 2 boats at Charles

Men’s crew competed in the historic Head of the Charles regatta in Boston, Mass., on Sunday. Williams competed in the collegiate eight event and was the only team that qualified two boats for competition in next year’s Head of the Charles amidst an international field. The men’s first varsity boat took fifth place and the second varsity crew captured 14th in the collegiate eight event.

Winds around 20 mph created a challenge for coxswains and rowers alike, as they had to fight stiff wind from multiple directions throughout the curvy course. The men’s 1V finished third initially, behind Virginia and Michigan. However, a buoy penalty before Elliot Bridge set the men back 10 seconds to fifth behind Grand Valley State and Drexel. The results are encouraging: The Ephs finished as the top NESCAC college and beat out all the teams they regularly race in the spring. The 1V hopes to take the experience from this race and use it as motivation during the long winter training season.

The 2V boat placed in the top 20 to earn an automatic qualifying spot, which guarantees the team a 2V entry in the Head of the Charles next year. The Ephs topped last year’s boat’s record of 16th place by two places to be the fastest Williams 2V ever at the Charles.

“As the only 2V boat in the event there was nothing expected of us, so we just went out there and rowed the best race we could,” co-captain Zach Tarlow ’13 said. “I think the rest of the guys in the boat are satisfied with the result as well.”

Head Coach Peter Wells ’79 noted his satisfaction with the determination of the 1V to stick with Virginia after getting passed and was pleased with the effort and skill put into fighting the conditions. “I think the guys rowed well, and we learned a lot of valuable lessons out on the water,” Wells said.

The men have a young squad this year, and they hope this experience will help the Ephs going forward. “We have a strong group of young guys,” co-captain John Gorman ’13 said. “This race gave the team much-needed experience that will help us in the long run.”

The Ephs head to Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Saturday to race at the Head of the Fish regatta. The crew will see many of the same teams this weekend, so it is another opportunity for the men to measure improvement heading into the winter indoor training season.