Aggies have busy weekend at 54th Head of the Charles
By Sean Richardson, MDC sportswriter and UM rower
It was a lively weekend for the Massachusetts men’s rowing team, as the varsity team raced three boats across Saturday and Sunday at the 54th Head of the Charles regatta in Boston. In addition, multiple alumni shells competed under the ”Aging Aggies Rowing Club” title.
Kicking off the weekend was one of the AARC boats in the Men’s Senior Master Four (50+) event, the alum took the Charles in 19:09, good for 18th place with a field of nearly fifty entries. Next was the men’s Alumni eight (three of the seats belonged to oarsmen from last year’s first varsity eight) who finished the course in 17:54 in a very competitive heat.
Finishing off racing Saturday was the second varsity eight, who came in riding a wave of strong practices and a solid finish at Hadley chase the previous week. UMass finished 28th overall while posting a 16:48 mark, despite having the third-youngest crew in the club eight event and losing the stroke reading just minutes before the race started.
Conditions Sunday were much less forgiving than Saturday’s, with temperatures dipping into the low 40’s, strong head winds, and choppy waters. However, the men’s varsity eight braved the weather and thanks to a great line taken by the coxswain, the eight came up with a 17:01 time for 18th place overall, making it UMass’s best finish in the men’s collegiate eight since 2003.
Rounding out the Charles for the Aggies was the varsity four in the collegiate 4+ event. Unfortunately, conditions became near unnavigable and resulted in a 22:23 for the four.
Fall Season will be coming to a close this weekend as the Aggies will conclude racing until the spring with the Head of the Fish in Saratoga, New York. Massachusetts will be in full force Saturday, with the varsity crews racing in eights, pairs, and a four. Meanwhile, the novice team could bring as many as four eights to the regatta.