Oct. 19, 2013
By Renee Peggs
Since its origin in 1965, the Head of the Charles Regatta has welcomed the world’s best crew teams to the banks of the Charles River in Boston for the ultimate two-day rowing competition. One of the largest rowing regattas in the world, more than 1,000 crews will race the three-mile course Sunday supported by crowds expected to exceed a quarter of a million spectators.
The Irish rowers traveled to Boston Thursday night and were able to practice on the course Friday.
Based on their participation and standings in the Head of the Charles a year ago, the Notre Dame women’s eight and four crew earned great starting positions for Sunday’s championship races without having to go through qualifying heats. Last year, the women’s 8+ started 35th and placed 12th overall, earning a number nine bough this year. The women’s 4- will start in the 11th position this year based on their placement a year ago.
Head coach Martin Stone indicated that these are the two fastest events for this boat class, and that the series on Sunday will pit his Irish rowers against the reigning United States world champion boat and the reigning 2012 Olympic gold medal winners.
“Both events are stacked,” said Stone candidly. “This is an open, international event, without age restrictions. We’re just hoping we can compete well within the collegiate group and see how we stack up against the top collegiate programs and our peer group.”
In competition, crews are separated by 10-15 second intervals as they race against the clock and not necessarily other boats on the river at the same time.
The Irish competitors for the women’s 8+ will be Christina Dines (coxswain), Ailish Sheehan, Erin Boxberger, Molly Bruggeman, Stella Willoughby, Ellen Gleadow, Anna Kottkamp, Joanna Mulvey, and Courtney Gaberino. Rowing the 4- will be Alex Techar (coxswain), Teresa Rubinger, Kiersten DeHaven, Elizabeth Kelley, and Rose Doerfler.
Says Stone, “Notre Dame is right where we’re supposed to be in terms of being competitive in this event. We’re really excited to be back for a second appearance.”