With the plethora of college teams, rowing clubs and national organizations making up the bulk of the competitors, there were many subplots and stories to this regatta.
Take, for example, the Tempe Town Rowing Club. The club, from Arizona, fielded a female club eight on Saturday afternoon.
Tempe Town, however, wasn't even in existence seven months ago. Team members range from an elderly 60-year-old woman to a 17-year-old high schooler. The Head of the Charles was the team's first regatta, and it was even more unusual because the team trains on a man-made lake.
Even with all these disadvantages, Tempe Town didn't finish last in a field of 72. Well, it did, but two disqualifications and a one-minute penalty on Iona put Tempe in 69th place instead.
Veterans from Europe and Oceania were not the only far-off participants. In perhaps the oddest appearance, several teams were fielded by the Cairo [Egypt] Policemen's Athletic Club.
With 5,500 competitors from 30 different countries, there were dozens of intriguing stories to be found.
In the end, however, this year's sprint for cash returned the focus of the event to the water, where it belongs.
Sunday was a day for New Zealand and the Waddell family to shine atop the rowing world.
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