Past Seasons‎ > ‎3‎ > ‎2008-2009 Season‎ > ‎

2008 Head of the Charles Recap

October 23, 2008


After three weeks of training following the Gardner Cup, all three programs opened their intercollegiate racing season at last weekend’s Head of the Charles. Race recaps are below, but first a look at this weekend’s racing at the Princeton Chase. 

All three programs will boat varsity eights, varsity fours, and freshman eights at this weekend’s Princeton Chase in Princeton, NJ. Racing starts at 11:30am.  


The 2008 Head of the Charles saw the Dartmouth lightweight eight start 9th out of 21 crews.  Winds reached 29 mph and the boat had difficulty handling the conditions and the field at this year's regatta. The 2nd, 3rd, and 7th place finishers, Queen's University, Harvard and Georgetown, started in the 10th ,11th and 12th position behind Dartmouth.  Queen's rowed a good beginning of the race and got through our eight by powerhouse stretch, meanwhile Harvard and Georgetown motored together through the first half of the course and caught Dartmouth at the 180 degree turn before Cambridge BC.  

The three crews entered the turn together creating a difficult situation for Dartmouth coxswain Alison Moe '09. However, she handled the situation best she could but was unable to complete the turn without being accessed a 1:00 penalty for interference.  As a result the lightweights finished last in their event leaving a bitter taste in their collective memories of the 2008 Charles.  The crew returned to Hanover knowing they have a lot of work and to do. With an effective week of seat racing and preparation the crew feels confident they can improve on the results of the Charles with this weekend's Princeton Chase.—Lightweight Coach Steve Perry 


We’re just good enough to underperform, and that’s what happened on Sunday. We weren’t last, but we weren’t far off, finishing 31st. I regret that I contributed to the underperformance, launching the crew too early given the cold conditions. They reached the startling line early, sat around, and started the race cold. I also let my enthusiasm cloud my assessment of their capabilities and encouraged them to push the cadence too high. The result, three miles of short rowing, is something we’ll avenge in Princeton. The good news: our freshman four acquitted themselves well in the elite field of the Championship Fours race.—Heavyweight Coach Topher Bordeau 

Captain Sandy Hull ’09 offered the following: “After a few weeks of hard work in fours and pairs we boated up for the Champ Eight. We began the race in blustery conditions and found it tough to establish a strong, connected rhythm.  The boat bounced in our competitors' wake through the middle portion of the race until we cut inside St. Joseph's before the Eliot Bridge.  Despite a solid move, we didn't quite clear open water on St. Joseph's before they secured inside position for the final turn.  Our sprint wasn't enough to overtake them before the line. Our finish wasn't the result the team had hoped to achieve.  It's early, and we remain confident that we're capable of more.  


Our goals for the Charles were: set an aggressive tone early in the race and come off the water with no regrets. The women handled nasty conditions and the typical mayhem of the regatta well.  The 1V passed Cornell before Magazine Beach, and the 2V walked  away from Brown's 2V.  Our results proved that 3 weeks of practice is not enough time to select a first eight: only 6 seconds separated our 1V and 2V!  For the Princeton Chase we hope to speed up the 1V without slowing down the 2V too much.  Right now we are a bit off the collegiate leaders' pace, but are closer than we were at this point last year.  Every school has different amounts of preparation for the Charles, but everyone has the same amount of time until the Sprints and the NCAAs.  Our goal is simple: use that time better than everyone else. Get faster. Close that gap. -Wendy Levash, Head Coach 

"The Charles has always been my favorite race, so it was exciting to be back in action for one last year with the Big Green.  Both crews had fun and raced well.  We're excited to improve on our results and beat up on the other Ivies this weekend at Princeton!"

-Kate Harney, Women's Crew Captain