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Norcal Finishes 4th of 85 Crews in International Competition at the Head of the Charles

The Head of the Charles is the biggest fall regatta in the entire world, and is one of the largest sporting events of any type, as measured by the number of live spectators. Over the course of the weekend, it is estimated that over 300,000 people walk along the river to watch the 3-mile race that winds around turns, under bridges, and past boathouses. There are over 9,000 competitors at the event in 55 race categories. Competitors range in age from high school to college students, olympic and national team athletes, and master’s well into their 80’s. The high school events are some of the most competitive events of the weekend. The reason for this is that there are 85 crews entered in each event! With such a difficult course of turns and obstacles, and with such young athletes, this makes for some very difficult maneuvering. Not only did all four of Norcal’s crews manage their way through the course unscathed, but each crew managed to achieve their goals, and then some!

In the women’s 4+, Norcal placed 14th out of 85! The top half of the crews are invited back for the next year, so Norcal has earned its spot! There was some particularly stiff competition in this event this year, and Norcal held their own against some big name crews from the east coast.

In the women’s double, two of our lightweight athletes were competing in a heavyweight event, placing them at an immediate disadvantage. In the double event, as well, the girls in the boat are responsible for steering their own course by looking behind them during the race, without the help of a coxswain! Our girls placed a phenomenal 13th out of 39 crews!!

In the men’s 8+, Norcal fielded the youngest crew of the regatta! We were one of only five crews of the weekend that had an average age of 15 years old. Regardless, we managed to pass a few crews in the back of the pack and work our way up to 40th place out of 85, earning a bid for next year’s event!

In the men’s 4+, we had a record breaking weekend for our program! Norcal finished 4th out of 85 crews!!! The top five crews receive special medals in the event, so our young men were able to bring home some hardware. This is the first medal at the regattas for Norcal in over four years, and it is the first medal in a big boat at the event for our men’s program. Of particular note is that this boat is comprised of three athletes with only one year of racing experience!

A huge congratulations to all of the Norcal athletes for their accomplishments at such a prestigious event! The coaching staff couldn’t be prouder of all of their hard work. We are looking forward to a great season of competitive racing this year!!

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