Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Head Of The Charles Preview

It's almost the Head of the Charles and the lightweight fours and eights events will be the first real opportunity for many crews to show what they have. Last year Radcliffe won the fours over a strong Undine entry (there was a protest involved here somewhere, but I forget exactly what it was about). Radcliffe didn't enter an eight so the four was probably their strongest rowers, and proved it with the win. This year Radcliffe starts first, Brock University starts 3rd, and Princeton starts 5th. Minnesota, Carnegie Mellon, McGill, MIT, Victoria, Cal, Fairfield, Villanova, and NC State are also racing. Radcliffe has an eight entered this year, as does Princeton, which will dilute the strength of the fours a bit.

In the eights, Princeton is the first college team over the line, starting 2nd. Radcliffe follows 4th, and Wisconsin starts 6th. Hoya Boat Club (Georgetown, I presume) starts 8th. MIT, British Columbia, and URI are also racing. This should be a great race, with Wisco's presence (they didn't race last year) adding some spice. With the London Training Center and Radcliffe starting ahead of them, I don't think Wisco will have to thread through many slow crews, so their starting position shouldn't hurt them too much. It's good to see URI back in the mix. They made the final at IRAs a few years ago and we'll see how they are progressing this fall. This should be a great race with another chance for these crews to go at it at the Princeton Chase a week later.

There are no freshmen lightweight events but you can bet that some of the youth boats will have lightweights in them. We just won't know which ones so we can't get any early intelligence about the freshmen.

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