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As the temperature barely reached the 40 degree mark and the wind howled across the Charles River, the Harvard and Radcliffe crew teams fought against the tough conditions at the Foot of the Charles Regatta against Dartmouth, MIT, BU, BC, Northeastern, and Brown.
In the final regatta of the fall season for both Radcliffe teams and the men’s lightweight team, Harvard managed to wrap up 2015 on a high note with a variety of top finishes from all teams.
One month after the historic Head of the Charles Regatta, the Foot of the Charles represents the end of crew season in New England. Both the men’s and women’s sides had multiple entries in the top 10 for Varsity Eights.
RADCLIFFE LIGHTWEIGHT AND HEAVYWEIGHT
Radcliffe’s showing at this year’s Foot of the Charles was very comparable to its 2014 results. Last year, the heavyweights’ top boat finished second overall, just behind Northeastern’s top entry. The Black and White’s 2014 teams also contributed two other boats to the top 10.
Both Radcliffe lightweight and heavyweight had four Varsity Eight boats finish in the top 10 out of 23 total boats.
The lightweight A boat finished in 22:38.4 for third place overall. Close behind were the top two heavyweight boats, which finished in fifth and sixth places. Rounding out the top 10 with a time of 23:37.2 was lightweight’s B boat.
The women’s Varsity Eights course was moved upstream on Saturday due to strong northwest winds. The Novice Eight and Varsity Four course started at Riverside Boat Club and ended at the Head of the Charles finish line.
Despite the almost wintery weather, Harvard was able to combat the course conditions and secure top finishes for both heavyweight and lightweight boats.
“Overall our time on the course was slower than we’re used to because we had the wind working against us,” sophomore lightweight Jacqui Epstein said. “It added to the anxiety at the starting line.”
Radcliffe had two entries in the Novice Eights and one in the Varsity Fours. Out of nine boats in the Varsity Fours race, Radcliffe’s heavyweight entry finished sixth.
“We did really well in tough conditions,” Epstein said. “We weren’t used to rowing in the wind. I was especially proud of how we finished - we had a strong finish.”
MEN’S LIGHTWEIGHT AND HEAVYWEIGHT
Picking up where the women’s teams left off on Saturday, the men’s side found itself with several boats finishing atop the leaderboard. The top heavyweight boats outpaced much of their competition throughout the regatta.
Although the lightweights finished further down the leaderboard, they had no parallel competition, as no other schools had lightweight entries.
“It was overall a mixed performance,” sophomore lightweight Liam Daily said. “Some boats rowed pretty well, some boats not as well as we’d hoped.”
The men’s team had a strong showing on the heavyweight side for Varsity Fours, with three boats finishing in the top five. The lightweight boats were farther down the leaderboard in a race that featured an abundance of heavyweight teams and only a handful of lightweights.
The Crimson captured first place overall with a time of 13:01.1 from its heavyweight A boat. Boats C and B also managed top-five finishes. They reached the finish line in 13:02.6 and 13:03.0, respectively.
Right after the Harvard’s heavyweight A boat, Brown’s top heavyweight boat was was half a second behind, finishing in second place.
“Brown’s heavyweight team always has a strong showing every year,” Daily said.
Harvard had three other heavyweight entries and four total lightweight entries for Varsity Fours. The heavyweight boats finished 12th, 13th, and 22nd, while the lightweights claimed the 18th, 21st, 25th, and 26th spots out of 27 competing boats.
In a surprising finish in the Open Eights race, the Harvard’s freshman lightweight A boat managed to take second place overall with a time of 12:29.4. The remaining freshman lightweight eight boats dominated the freshman race, taking first and second with times of 13:24.8 and 13:57.3.
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