The Head of the Charles Regatta is one of the biggest regattas in the world. This years event saw nearly 12,000 athletes from 26 countries all over the world competing on the 4.8km course. The course runs from the Boston University Boathouse and finishes just past Belmont Hill School Boat Club. The race passes through 5 big bends und under 6 bridges. This year, the amazing weather encouraged over 350,000 spectators to line the banks and cheer on the crews racing.
This year Borlase Boat Club had 3 boats competing in the Head of the Charles. It's the first time the school has competed in this event.
Dani Taverner, Ellie Harkin, Charlotte Falconer, Emily Farmer and Bridget Smith competed in the women's youth quads event.
Norbert Bolier, Joe Haslehurst, Oliver Lane, Dan Crick and Maya Jackson competed in the men's youth fours event.
Ben Jackson, Ben Furley, Ed O'Neill, Sam Nicklin and Charlotte Farmer competed in the men's youth quads event.
The squads flew out on Wednesday afternoon. The airport and our plane was full of other schools and rowing clubs who were also flying out to compete at the Head of the Charles. We arrived at Boston Logan airport at 7pm local time and used the Boston T (Subway) to travel the short Journey to the centre of Boston where our hotel was located. Our tired and jet lagged 15 rowers and 2 coaches were all eager to go to bed after the long journey.
Crew Pizza in our Hotel overlooking the busy Boston Town Centre
Feeling refreshed after a solid sleep in our cosy accommodation we all enjoyed a wholesome breakfast and were pleased to be joined by many other rowers who were staying in our hotel. Unfortunately on our first day in Boston we were greeted with 50mph wind meaning no crews were allowed to train. Fortunately we had booked in a trip to Providence to visit Brown University and their Boathouse. We were greeted by ex Borlase and Brown University student Rufus Biggs who showed us around the university campus and set us up for a training session at the Brown University Boathouse.
Brown University Boathouse
Ergo session in the Brown University Gym
Team photo outside the famous Brown University Campus Gates with ex Borlase rower Rufus Biggs (Far Right)
Friday brought much calmer weather and beautiful clear skies. We were able to get out on the course and practise racing through the challenging bends and bridges. We were lucky to be able to boat from Harvard University Boathouse which is approximately half way up the course. The rowers rigged up the boats while the coxes attended the coxes meeting where coxes are talked through the course and how best to steer it. We were fortunate enough to sit next to Olympic Champion Cox Phelan Hill who was also attending the meeting to brush up on his racing line.
Our Rowers outside the Famous Harvard University Boathouse.
That evening we met up with our supporting parents for an Italian dinner in downtown Boston. The restaurant put on a fantastic 3 course meal for our 15 rowers , 2 coaches and 15 or so visiting parents who travelled out to support our crews. It was a brilliant evening enjoyed by all.
Our rowers enjoying an evening out
Saturday was the first day of racing on the course. After breakfast we took the T down to the course and watched Neil Jackson (Parent) successfully navigate the twists and bridges racing in the single scull event. The crews then trained with the Harvard Crews in their gym on the ergos and we had a tour of their iconic boathouse.
The Harvard Rowing Tank, Gym and Boathouse.
That evening we booked in to watch the Boston Terriers Ice Hockey team take on Michigan University at the Agganis Arena. It was a brilliant game with Michigan taking a 4-3 win. The atmosphere was amazing. We even got a shoutout from on the display screen wishing our crews good luck.
The Boston Terriers (in red) took on Michigan.
The next morning was race day! We were all up early to get breakfast in and warm ups done before getting out on the water. First up were our girls quad coxed by Bridget Smith. The crew had an excellent row and steered a great line overtaking several crews. This crew finished 35th out of 43 crews.
The girls quad
Next up were our boys four coxed by the youngest competitor in the event, Maya Jackson. Maya steered a terrific line and managed to weave past a few boats on the course. This crew finished 56th out of 85 crews, beating our local rivals Radley.
Our boys coxed four, coxed by the youngest competitor at the event, Maya Jackson.
Finally our boys quad coxed by Charlotte Farmer took to the course. After a successful start to the season the crew were confident in their speed. They got off to a good start but unfortunately collided with a crew under a bridge costing them precious time. The crew finished the race well and placed 14th out out of 48 crews.
The boys quad passing Cambridge Boathouse.
The exhausted crews spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sun and watching the international crews racing down the course. We returned to our hotel in the evening and enjoyed a final team dinner celebrating the birthday of Charlotte Falconer.
The following day we enjoyed a morning in Boston looking around the city. Some of the rowers visited the Harvard Football Stadium where it is tradition on the Monday after the Head of the Charles to complete a stadium run (Running up and down every set of steps in the stadium). We enjoyed some lunch in the town centre and a trip up one of the city skyscrapers for a stunning view of the city before our flight home.
Thank you to all the parents who travelled to support the rowers competing and to all the people who helped us out while we were out there. It was an awesome experience and hopefully we will return again soon!