CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The MIT women's openweight crew team had a pair of boats entered in the season-opening, Head of the Charles regatta over the weekend, and both crews fared very well, despite experiencing some challenges during the course of the race. The championship eight had its best ever finish at the Head of the Charles, finishing 25th out of 37 teams while the club eight placed 18th overall.
Rowing on Sunday afternoon, Techs' top eight drew bow No. 37 and was the last boat to launch in the championship eight race. The Engineers made up the difference on the Fordham University crew that had started directly in front of them by the time the boats reached the Weeks Footbridge. However, the Fordham crew failed to yield to the faster MIT boat and the crews clashed oars, causing MIT to come to a complete stop. The Cardinal and Gray was able to overcome this setback to navigate the rest of the course in 17:19.89 for the program's best-ever result in the event.
MIT's 25th-place finish put it ahead of conference foes Bucknell University and the U.S. Naval Academy, as well as local rival, Boston College. Tech was also just over three seconds off the pace of 24th-place Boston University.
MIT's second boat raced in the club eight event on Saturday afternoon, finishing 18th out of 28 crews with a time of 19:12.61. The club eight also had an incident with another boat, clanging oars with the boat from the College of the Holy Cross in the final mile.
Head coach, Holly Metcalf was impressed with the performances of her crews, saying, "Overall we're very pleased with our results. Head racing always presents unexpected situations, and both our crews encountered one, with some oar clashing in each event. It's a good learning moment for the team, as the two boats responded differently; the second varsity eight got rattled and let the distraction slow them down, while the varsity eight used the setback as motivation to pull even harder. Our whole team can benefit from that lesson as we prepare for the Princeton Chase next weekend."
Tech will be back in action at the Princeton Chase next Sunday, October 30. The Cardinal and Gray will send three boats to that event, a varsity eight, as well as the second varsity and novice eight crews.
Women's Openweight - Championship 8
Women's Openweight - Club 8