October 21, 2010

MIT Crews Gear Up for Head of the Charles

Cambridge, Mass. – The madness has begun for the four MIT varsity crew squads, who are preparing for their biggest competition of the fall season, this weekend's historic Head of the Charles regatta.

The Head of the Charles, which marks the only weekend in which all four varsity crews will compete at the same regatta, is the world's largest two-day rowing event. The regatta will feature several different disciplines and levels of competition.

Saturday morning will be an opportunity for graduates and alumni of MIT to get back on the Charles. Men and women alumni squads will also compete in alumni eights and the women from MIT's Grad Rowing Club will compete in Club Fours.

In the afternoon session, club eights will be raced, and MIT crews will send second varsity squads into the mix. The men will send out a boat of both heavy and lightweight team members, while an openweight team will race for the women.

All four varsity crews will be on the water Sunday afternoon for the championship eight and lightweight eight races, the premier events of the regatta. The men's heavyweight will be the first to row, at 2:55 PM, followed by women openweight at 3:09. About an hour later, the lightweight eights will get underway, with the men's crew starting their race two minutes after four. The lightweight women will close out the Engineer's participation in the competition at 4:11.

The Head of the Charles was established by the Cambridge Boat Club, based on the tradition of "head of the river" races run in England, and was first raced on October 16, 1965. "Head" races, a class of regattas, are generally three-mile long boat races against each other and the clock, starting sequentially approximately fifteen seconds apart. Winners of each race receive the honorary title of "Head of the River" or, in this case, "Head of the Charles."

Over the past 46 years, the Head of the Charles regatta has grown tremendously. Today, more than 8,000 athletes from around the world compete in 55 different race events. The Regatta grew to a two-day event in 1997 and now attracts up to 300,000 spectators during the October weekend.

The MIT Pierce Boathouse is one of several host facilities for the Head of the Charles Regatta. Many guests will boat out of MIT, including crews from England, Holland, and the Czech Republic, as well as some visiting American rowers.

Below is the itemized schedule for MIT related participation in the Head of the Charles. A schedule for the weekend and more information about the event can also be found at the official site, here.

 

SATURDAY 23 OCTOBER

11:08 - Alumni Eights - Men

MIT Grad Crew - Bow #40

Rowers from the Class of '69 lightweight crew

11:27 - Alumni Eights - Women

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Bow #13 Alumnae of lightweight and openweight programs

13:14 - Club Eights - Men

MIT Crew - Bow #14

Mixed boat of heavyweight and lightweight men

13:30 - Club Eights - Women

MIT Crew - Bow #20

Openweight women's second varsity eight


SUNDAY 24 OCTOBER

14:55 - Championship Eights - Men

MIT Crew - Bow #22

Varsity heavyweight men

15:09 - Championship Eights - Women

MIT Crew - Bow #14

Varsity openweight women

16:02 - Lightweight Eights - Men

MIT Crew - Bow #15

Varsity lightweight men

16:11 - Lightweight Eights - Women

MIT Crew - Bow #10

Varsity lightweight women