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The First 250: October 18

BY LUKE REYNOLDS

200 single scullers took to the oars on the Charles River this past Sunday for the annual The Head of the Quinobequin.

The event is a juniors-only, single sculls-only, time trial-format rowing “head race” that takes place on the Charles River on the second Sunday in October. Rowing News contributing editor Ed Moran described it as one of the “most endearing…Autumn events” and, looking through the gallery posted with yesterday’s race report it’s hard not to agree.

Putting on any regatta is no small feat but to put on a regatta with nearly 200 juniors (including a U13 event!) rowing in singles only is a unique logistical challenge but one the event organizers handled with great expertise. Giving youth athletes a chance to tackle 3,000 meters of the Charles River in singles is a gift and commendation is deserved for all involved.

Cambridge Boat Club’s Massimo Kofferen won the men’s U19 category and Catherine Barry of Oak Neck Academy won the women’s.

In the U17 group, Lucas Salazar Anaya of GMS Rowing Center won the men’s event and Mika Benabraham of Oak Neck Academy won the women’s race. In the U15 group, it was Narragansett Boat Club’s Griffin Haisman who won the men’s race and Narragansett’s Sophie Haisman who won the women’s race.

In the U13 singles, Aiden Chambers from The Port Jefferson Rowing Club won the men’s event. In the women’s event, it was Alisa Kelly of Oak Neck Academy who had the fastest time in the U13 women’s event.

Just a day before, the third and final iteration of the 2021 Head of the Kevin series had rowers racing down “that dirty water.”

Riverside Boat Club’s men’s club eight had the fastest time of the day clocking in at 14:42.5. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s heavyweight eight came in 6.5 seconds behind the men of Riverside.

Finn Putnam was the first finisher in the men’s champ single classification with a time of 17:17.4. Margaret Fellows was the first in the women’s champ single with a time of 18:55.0.

Just a few spots in front of Fellows was Mary Jones who had the fastest time for the women in the lightweight single. Just five spots in front of Jones was the perennial Gevvie Stone who finished the race in 38th overall and first in the women’s masters single event.

Stone and Jones are currently perched atop the Head of the Kevin series standings in first and second place, respectively.

On the other side of the country, the annual American Lake Fall Classic was taking place in Lakewood, Wash. The regatta, which had just over 250 entries, offered events for all including juniors, masters, adaptive, collegiate, and open.

In the men’s adaptive single Callum Swinford finished first with a time of 24:06.8.

Sammamish finished back-to-back in the women’s junior varsity eight competition and will be packing up the gold and silver medals and taking them back to Redmond with them. On the men’s side, Banbridge Island finished first a hearty 38 seconds in front of the men from Sammamish.

Meanwhile, it was no secret that in Oak Ridge, Tenn. the Secret City Head Race was hosting its annual two-day event on the pristine (but slightly radioactive) waters of Melton Lake. The event, which was one of the largest to take place in the United States this past weekend, hosted over 40 clubs.

The 4,702-meter race is considered an excellent prep event for the Head of the Charles. In addition to the usual racing, the event also hosted middle school and Row for the Cure events.

Overall, a huge weekend of domestic head racing before Head of the Charles. It’s great to see events creating space and racing opportunities for younger athletes, a trend that should continue.

In other Rowing News, a tragedy took place in the rowing community last week with the drowning of Leo Lehner who was a member of Dayton Boat Club. Our entire team sends our deepest condolences to the DBC community along with the family and friends of Leo. Our thoughts are with them.

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