Men's and Women's Crew End Season at Foot of the Charles Regatta

This weekend’s sub-freezing temperatures and gusting winds may have signaled the first signs of autumn’s imminent surrender to the Boston winter. But for Harvard’s men’s and women’s crew teams, the weather wasn’t the only thing closing out the fall. This weekend’s Foot of the Charles Regatta marked the conclusion of the season for both teams.

A sense of home field advantage was on the side of the Crimson, as the familiar course proved to yield favorable results. Overall, Harvard secured two first place finishes in the varsity eight events— one by the men’s heavyweight and one by the women’s heavyweight team.

“[Radcliffe’s heavyweight] dominated the field, with our first and second varsity eights finishing first and third, respectively,” said junior heavyweight rower Erica Holmes. “We had a couple of injuries and uncertainty leading up to the event, but it's a testament to the team's resilience that we can produce strong results even in the face of adversity— and the Foot is always a fun opportunity to prove we are the fastest women's program on the Charles.”

With strong finishes at the season’s final race, the Harvard and Radcliffe programs will look to leverage the gained momentum and experience of the fall heading into the spring.

“We always learn a lot during our head races in the fall,” said junior heavyweight rower Rafaela Stalph. “Because these races are longer than our two kilometer races in the spring, having a strong fitness base is super important. We use this time to build up our endurance and base fitness levels, which provides us with the foundations we need for higher intensity training and racing in the spring season.”



Because the Foot of the Charles does not divide races between heavyweight and lightweight, the Harvard-Radcliffe program entered boats from both teams in the women’s varsity eight event.

The Black and White topped the event, as the Radcliffe A boat finished in first place with an elapsed time of 20.26.2. The Crimson boat won the event by a relatively comfortable margin, with the next closest boat from Northeastern posting a time of 20.48.9. Claiming the third place spot was the Radcliffe B boat, which rowed a time of 21.01.7. The final heavyweight boat, Radcliffe C, finished 14th overall.

“I think the team performed really well today, and showed big improvements from last year,” said junior heavyweight rower Sophia Young. “Not only did our 1v win, but our 2v had an especially strong race, beating all of the other boats in their category, and beating almost all of the other A boats as well.”

The heavyweight team also entered a boat in the women’s N8+ event. Harvard placed third, finishing behind the first place Boston College boat and just under a minute behind the second place boat from Boston University with a time of 14.50.7.

“Overall, we had a good performance at Foot of the Charles,” Stalph said. “We have made improvements physically and technically since Head of the Charles and will be striving to continue improving over the winter before spring racing.”

Coming off a bronze performance in the varsity eight at the Head of the Charles, the Black and White lightweight boats finished seventh and 14th in Saturday’s event. Among the light lightweight boats in the event, the Radcliffe lightweight A boat placed second behind Boston University with an elapsed time of 21.34.3.

With the fall season now in the books, the attention of Harvard-Radcliffe program is now turned toward the spring season.

“It's actually been a very promising fall season,” said Holmes, reflecting on the heavyweight team. “Comparing results from last fall to this fall, we have significantly closed the gap between ourselves and leading programs. If we can carry this trajectory into the spring, we will have one of our most successful seasons.”

“Between the results from Head of the Charles and Foot of the Charles, we have pretty solid evidence that, as an entire team, we are on a good track to success— not just in the spring coming up, but also for the years to come,” said freshman heavyweight rower Eliza Kallfelz. “We have a lot more work to do to get us where we want to be, but our rate of improvement between this fall and last fall is exciting to see.”


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