Clark Dean, pictured in the foreground, helped power these four Americans to a top-eight finish at the 2019 World Championships. The Harvard rower had hoped to earn a chance to replicate this international success at the 2020 Olympics, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put his training schedule in an uncertain place.
Needless to say, Dean’s training schedule has completely changed since the Olympics were officially postponed. While he was a couple of short months away from peaking, he now has to reverse his training schedule and essentially begin his off-season.
The event is the world’s largest two-day regatta and the third-most attended event in New England annually, and often is one of the Square’s most lucrative weekends of the year, according to local business owners.
Thousands of spectators line the banks of the Charles River as boats pass by the Anderson Memorial Bridge in the Head of the Charles Regatta
Rowing enthusiasts and casual spectators of all ages streamed through Harvard’s campus to watch more than 70 races at the 55th Head of the Charles Regatta on Saturday and Sunday.
There was not a sudden moment when Harvard heavyweight rower Clark Dean realized he could be something special — not a single race to point to, nor a random late-night realization. His potential was always growing, and this became incrementally clearer every time his efforts were tested.
For the Harvard crew teams and fans around the world, the most wonderful time of year is approaching: the highly-anticipated Head of the Charles Regatta. It takes place every year in Cambridge in mid-October, and all four Crimson teams, women’s and men’s lightweight and heavyweight, will be racing.
At the Head of the Charles, twenty different trophies are up for grabs. This weekend, everyone from high school racers to veteran scullers will vie for one of the regatta’s prestigious pieces of hardware. Each one showcases a different person, city, or sponsor that helped shape the Head of the Charles into the premier two-day rowing spectacle that it is today.
Over the past two weeks, all four of the Crimson’s crews took to the water to partake in tenacious battles of physical exertion and mental fortitude. Through high tides and low tides, all displayed a competitiveness indicative of the immense training that has propelled them to the solid teams they are today. With the large regattas of the postseason looming near, the warmer weather signals the heating up of this spring’s competition.
The Crimson dominated both the No. 12 Big Red as well as No. 15 George Washington, taking all four races, including a solid finish in the first varsity eight.
As the ice of the River Charles thaws and recedes, the Harvard crew programs look to rejuvenate the waters with intensive competition and spirited drive. On the heels of competitive seasons last year, each team looks to embark on an even more successful campaign this spring.