Northeastern crew teams compete at Head of the Charles Regatta


Avery Bleichfeld

Rowers gather for the Head of the Charles Regatta on the Charles River, which splits Cambridge and Boston. The regatta attracts rowers from around the world who compete on the course every October.

Noelia Arteaga, news correspondent

The Northeastern men’s and women’s rowing teams competed at the Head of the Charles Regatta Oct. 23. The men’s A boat, stroked by graduate student Rhett Burns, finished fourth collegiately and sixth overall with a time of 13:42.881, and the women’s A boat, stroked by Iris Cotrupi, finished 10th with a time of 18:21.408.

The Head of the Charles Regatta, or HOCR,  hosted rowers from around the globe who competed on the three-mile course on the Charles River, which splits Cambridge and Boston. The event includes races at the club, collegiate, alumni and family levels.

“One of the encouraging things is how competitive the Division I men’s eight field was at the top,” said Alex Perkins, the men’s rowing associate head coach. “We were just under nine seconds from being the top college crew.”

The men’s A boat placed sixth by a hair in the Championship Eight race, just 0.04 seconds ahead of the Washington A boat after trailing them by 0.058 seconds. The women’s A boat competed in the Championship Fours and finished 7.4 seconds ahead of the Dartmouth B boat and 11 seconds behind the Rhode Island A boat. 

The men’s B boat, stroked by junior Paul Philips; the C boat, stroked by junior Michael Gelfand; and the D boat, stroked by freshman Daniel Kelly, also competed. The men’s B boat finished with a time of 14:20.163 in the Championship Eight ahead of the Navy A boat and 1.5 seconds behind the Stanford A boat. The C boat finished eleventh in the Club 8+ race with a time of 14:55.016, and the D boat finished with a time of 15:20.514. 

The women’s team also competed in the Women’s Club Fours race, stroked by Hannah Szych; the Women’s Club Eights division, stroked by Eleanor Loonam; and the Championship Eights classification, stroked by Victoria Thibeault.

The women’s boat stroked by Szych placed 23rd with an overall time of 19:21.990, the boat stroked by Loonman placed 21st with 17:21.156 and the boat stroked by Thibeault placed 15th with 15:53.413.

This year, half the women’s team is underclassmen with only three graduate students and four seniors on the team. In coming years, the team will be composed of older athletes, giving the Huskies the advantage in experience in seasons to come. 

“Our athletes on Saturday were some of our younger athletes on the team,” said Joe Wilhelm, the women’s head coach, in a video on the @GoNUwrowing’s Twitter following the HOCR. “It was a great experience for them to race against some of the best colleges in the country, along with some of the best rowing clubs in the country.” 

In last year’s HOCR, the A boats in the Men’s and Women’s Championship Eight took third place while the men’s boat came in first place in the Championship Four.

“We really executed what we wanted to execute this week, which was a really strong middle second half of the race and executing the stroke we’ve been working on this fall,” Wilhelm said.    

The HOCR is the second to last race before the team goes into their winter training to prepare for the spring season, a time that is packed with home races on the Charles River. Northeastern’s rowing teams will close out the fall season at the Foot of the Charles Nov. 12. 

During the winter, the team will train hard, Perkins said, focusing on fitness and physical capacity that will be key in winning home races and events out west in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

“The spring season is really exciting,” Perkins said. “We have a lot of home races, which is always a big fan of the guys. We have the Arlette Cup against BU, and we have the Smith Cup against Harvard.”