Men’s crew earns 21st place at the Head of the Charles Regatta

Members of the men's crew team rowing in the regatta against Wesleyan and Bates on April 14, 2018. Allison Culbert / The Tufts Daily Archives

After its incredible performance at the Head of the Riverfront in Hartford, Conn., last week, the men’s crew team returned to the local waters of the Charles River, where the team raced at the 55th annual Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR). This exciting regatta is without a doubt the most important regatta of the fall semester for the Jumbos. Held every third weekend of October, rowers from all over the world ranging from high school to Olympic level compete at the prestigious Head of the Charles Regatta. Saturday and Sunday were sunny and crisp with temps hovering around 60 degrees. The nice autumnal weather drew tens of thousands of spectators to the shores and bridges of the Charles River to watch the elite rowers compete in the notoriously competitive regatta.

On Sunday, the first varsity eight, known colloquially by the team as the 1V boat, raced against 37 different boats. The lineup included sophomore coxswain Tara Curran, first-year stroke Graeme McDonough, sophomore Alex Williams, junior co-captain Harris Hardiman-Mostow, first-year Ryan Hankins, senior co-captain Mats Edwards, senior Mitchell Koganski, first-year Liam Jenkins and first-year sitting bow Paul Fabrycky.

Hardiman-Mostow gave a special shoutout to coxswain Curran in an email to the Daily. In the email, Hardiman-Mostow praised her navigational prowess, since one of the biggest challenges in the HOCR is competition for space.

The 1V boat was neck-and-neck with Worcester Polytechnic Institute at the last leg of the race, ultimately resulting in Tufts beating them by 0.17 of a second. The 1V boat earned 21st place, finishing with a time of 15:19.208. This year’s 21st place finish was an improvement from finishing 29th place in the Men’s Collegiate Eight event last year. Massachusetts Institute of Technology finished in 1st place with a time of 14:25.901.

In order to automatically qualify for a spot in the collegiate eights HOCR next fall, the men’s boat had to finish in 19th place or higher in the 38-boat race Saturday, meaning Tufts did not automatically qualify for the regatta next year. 

Hardiman-Mostow wrote in an email to the Daily that the team’s rowing at this year’s HOCR was below average in comparison with its standards of years past.

“In terms of the rowing, it certainly wasn’t our best, but our team is very young this year and we’re all still trying to develop chemistry together as a crew at this early stage of the year-long campaign,” Hardiman-Mostow wrote. “As we move into the end of the fall and winter, our focus will be on training together and developing more of the synergy that will pay dividends come spring.”

Hardiman-Mostow wrote in an email to the Daily that the team put in many hours of training throughout the fall semester, which contributed to the team’s good sentiment going into the Head of the Charles Regatta.

“I think we had a lot of good energy heading into [the Head of the Charles Regatta],” Hardiman-Mostow wrote. “We’ve been training incredibly hard this fall – nine practice[s] a week – which is a lot more than in previous years, so we felt like our fitness and strength was up there with just about anyone.”

On Saturday, the Jumbos second varsity eight, also known as the 2V boat, participated in the Men’s Club Eight event. On the lineup was first-year coxswain Rachel Halliday, first-year stroke Nick Kuranda, first-year Alex Maykel, first-year Tom Muller, senior Peter Malinovsky, senior Matthew Agurcia, senior Dean Ericksen, first-year Drew Macklin and first-year bow seat Drew Niles. The 2V boat finished in 26th place with a time of 16:13.044, outpacing Wesleyan’s 2V time of 16:23.122 by more than 10 seconds. This race was rowed in a highly competitive pool with other Division III and Division I crews, including Harvard University, whose time of 14:36.116 earned first place.

The Tufts 2V boat was also cut from an automatic bid for next year’s HOCR as it could not finish in the top half of the contenders. Malinovsky offered his thoughts on his boat’s performance in an email to the Daily.

“After it we were pleased with our time but disappointed in our placement. Going head-to-head with D1 and Ivy programs is quite a challenge but we finished ahead of all the NESCAC boats at our level,” Malinovsky wrote.

The best part of the day for the Jumbos was wrapping up the event, and Hardiman-Mostow described it best.

“After the race, it’s always fun to appreciate the scene at HOCR,” Hardiman-Mostow wrote. “As we cooled down back to the dock it was super cool to see all of our teammates, alumni, family and friends on the shore or bridges wishing us well.”

The Jumbos travel to Fish Creek in Saratoga, N.Y., for the Head of the Fish Regatta this weekend.