CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Competing in the final event of an extremely busy weekend, the MIT women's lightweight eight performed extremely well at the Head of the Charles regatta on Sunday afternoon. The Engineers began their race at 4:35 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, amid gloomy skies but calm water, for the start of their race. Despite an unexpected delay to the start of the event, the Tech crew stayed focused and executed its race plan well in the fall season's premier head race to take sixth overall in the lightweight women's eight event.
After a weekend where over 9,000 competitors raced down the 3-mile course, MIT's lightweight eight was the third to last boat to cross the starting line on Sunday. Approaching the starting chute, the crew from Georgetown, positioned directly behind MIT, advanced on Tech before the starting clock, with the Hoya bow overlapping the Tech stern going over the line. With a head to head challenge across the line, the Cardinal and Gray's sophomore coxswain, Emily Chen (Nashua, N.H.), was forced to take a wide turn around Magazine Beach, but quickly got back on an advantageous course heading down the powerhouse stretch. As Tech began to move up the pack, advancing on McGill University and pushing away from Tufts University, Chen capitalized on an opportunity to take the inside turn at the Weeks Footbridge and Anderson Bridge, moving Tech closer to McGill, at bow number five.
In the second half of the course, Tech rebounded and showed improved speed in their split at Cambridge Boat Club. On the final turn to the finish, Tech raised the stroke rate and crossed the line in 18:41.26, fifteen seconds ahead of McGill and over eighty seconds ahead the Jumbos. MIT's sixth place finish is the highest finish ever in the event for the Engineers.
Head coach, Claire Martin-Doyle, was encouraged by the performance of the crew, "Although the crew's first mile of the race could have been better executed, the ability of the crew to overcome and improve their speed in the second and third mile, shows the tenacity and determination of this group."
Next up for the Cardinal and Gray is the Dartmouth Invitational in two weeks. The novice crews will travel up to Hanover, N.H. on Sunday, November 5.
Women's Lightweight 8