Summer-like heat welcomed 2,191 crews to Philadelphia for the 53rd Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 28 and 29. The United States Naval Academy covered the 2.5-mile course in 10:58.6, just half a second faster than the University of Pennsylvania, to win the men’s championship eights event on Saturday. The Danish National Team covered the course more than 50 seconds faster than Temple University to win the women’s championship eights.
Founded in 1970, the Head of the Schuylkill became the only fall competition on the river for post-collegiate athletes in Philadelphia, creating racing opportunities for both men and women. A dozen women entered the first regatta; by 2013, female competitors outnumbered males, with over 2,300 competing. The regatta grew into the world’s largest one-day rowing competition and had to expand to a two-day schedule in 2008 to accommodate its popularity.
RowAmerica Rye crews placed first, second, and fourth in the women’s high school eights event on Sunday. Saugatuck Rowing Club entries finished third and fifth in the 45-boat field. An additional 42 eights raced in the JV and lower boat event, with 25 more in the Michael O’Gorman Women’s High School Eights (Frosh/Novice) event.
On the boys’ side, there were even more entries of 61, 60, and 47 eights on each of the three high school levels. Saugatuck beat RowAmerica Rye by less than three seconds, with St. Joe’s Prep in third.
Malvern Prep’s Cormac Rooney won the Jim Barker Men’s High School Single event. Niagara Falls Rowing Club’s Ashlin Fehr finished first in the women’s event.
The University of Pennsylvania edged the United States Naval Academy by a single second to win the men’s club championship eights event in 11:33, with a second Penn crew five seconds back in third. Division II Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University bested Temple University on the Owls’ home course by nine seconds to win the women’s club championship eights. Sacred Heart University finished third.
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