By Melanie Cane

Head of the Charles Regatta is the largest and most prestigious two-day regatta in the world, with 11,000 athletes rowing in over 1,900 boats in 66 events. At the 53rd annual event held over the October 21 weekend, RowAmerica entered seven boats comprising 32 rowers, five coxswains, and four spare rowers, the most athletes they have ever sent.

All of Row America’s boats raced on October 22. In stunning fashion, the Women’s Youth 4+ led the team off with a first-place finish of 18:07.856, beating the second boat by nearly eight seconds.

Girls’ Coach Marko Serafimovski said, “I knew the Four was fast, but Head of the Charles is not all about speed, it is also about how well the coxswain steers down the course. I expected the girls to come in in the top three.” He added, “Secretly, I believed they could win, but I did not tell them that before the race!”

Junior Izzy Aronson coxswained the boat. The rowers were seniors Hannah Schaenman and Kelly Morrissy, and sophomores Ashley Giannetti and Emily Tonkel.

In addition to the Women’s Youth 4+, several other boats had solid performances. Girls’ Eight finished 17th out of 85 crews and the Girls’ Youth 2x earned 23 in a heat of 48.

The Men’s Youth 8+ placed ninth out of a field of 85. The rowers are mostly sophomores and juniors. Men’s Youth 4+ came in 30th out of 86, Men’s Youth 4x+ finished 15th out of 32, and the Men’s Youth 2x placed 28th out of 48.

Aleksandar Radovic, the Boys’ head coach, sees fall racing as preparation for the spring, “where we will have a chance to prove that we are one of the fastest clubs in the country.”

RAR’s results qualified five crews for next year’s Head of the Charles.

RowAmericaRye Women’s Youth 4+ team in their home waters