CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts –– Bowdoin Rowing’s first men’s varsity four earned 4th place medals at the 55th Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) this weekend. The first women’s varsity four finished 15th, securing an automatic bid for the Polar Bears at next year’s regatta.
The regatta is the largest competitive rowing event in the world and attracts over 11,000 athletes from DI through DIII colleges, hundreds of clubs, several national teams, and Olympic Training Centers. Along with our three guaranteed entries from last year’s results, the team scored 6 additional entries from the HOCR’s “luck-of-the-draw” lottery system, resulting in an unusual total of nine boats competing.
The men’s first varsity four finished in 4th place out of 40 in the Collegiate Men’s Four event––the top east coast crew and NESCAC program. Though the winning crew from UCLA had a strong 12 second victory over second place, the margin between 2nd and 6th was just over 3 seconds. Bowdoin’s 4th place was just 0.05 seconds faster than Oklahoma City and 0.2 seconds ahead of 6th place Notre Dame. The men’s second varsity four finished strongly in the second half of the field of 40 crews after an unfortunate tangling of blades under the Weeks Footbridge.
In the Women’s Collegiate Four, Bowdoin’s A and B boats raced well with the A boat finishing in 15th, ahead of NESCAC rivals Trinity, Williams, and Middlebury. The performance also successfully secured an automatic bid for Bowdoin in next year’s HOCR.
The team had two entries in the Men’s Club Four and one in the Women’s Club Four. Both were racing against 57 other crews and although they all rowed well, our crews finished in the second half of the pack.
Bowdoin also entered a boat in the Women’s Championship Double event. Polar Bears Allie Gross and Ilana Olin finished 13 in this field of 17, racing against the highest echelon of 2x’s in the country, including some international crews of Olympic caliber. Gross and Olin finished second among collegiate crews in the event.
The Men’s Alumni Four put in a stellar performance racing as Polar Rowing Club. Will Brockett, Seth Chatterton, Greg Picarillo, Philip Maier, and Elizabeth Kolle raced to a competitive 37th in the Men’s Club Four field of 58 crews.
Coaches Doug Welling and Ry Hills were extremely pleased with the results. “It was incredible getting so many athletes experience on this course,” said Welling. “The team has truly pushed each other to a new level and it was very rewarding to watch the strong finishes in the collegiate events on Sunday.”
“We are very proud of what these athletes have accomplished here at the Charles,” added Hills. “This is a huge stage in the world of rowing. The fact that we can compete against, and often beat, very high level teams speaks volumes for our small program.”
The coaches also thanked alumni and parents for joining the team at the annual Charles alumni dinner, bringing together nearly 100 members of the Bowdoin Rowing family. “We are always tremendously grateful for the support of our alums and families,” Welling said. “Their ongoing passion for this team is integral to our success. And it is, of course, really fun to see so many of them at this annual event.”
Bowdoin Rowing will compete against Colby College and Bates College at the annual CBBs regatta next weekend, Saturday, October 26th, in their final race of the fall season.
Let’s Go Black!
Article by Assistant Coach Ry Hills