Five student athletes standing with rowing paddles
Lucas Woodruff, Connor Basile, Ash Wright, Cole Villa and Robert Wearn compete in the annual Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachusetts, placing 7th out of 40 crews.

Last month, the UCI men’s and women’s rowing teams sent two crews to compete in the annual Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. Both teams had successful rows down the winding three-mile race course.

UCI mens and women’s rowing crews compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston.

The men’s 4+ boat completed the the winding three-mile race course with a time of 17:13.26, coming in seventh out of 40 crews, and qualifying to race the Boston Regatta again in 2022. The Head of the Charles course is known to be tricky on turns, and it’s common for collisions to occur. Debris and equipment malfunctions are also a risk. Looking back on the experience, Ash Wright, the coxswain on the men’s 4+ boat, shares the difficulty of setting the boat’s course:

“The beginning of our race was blocked by a crew unwilling to yield but once the obstacle was passed nothing else stood in the way of our goal. Starting from bow thirty-nine and ending with seventh place was a great accomplishment.”

five female student athletes standing with their rowing paddles
Michaela Lewis, Chloe King, Haley Mackay, Lily Hasley, and Hannah Debray represent the women’s crew making their debut at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston.

The women’s 4+ boat represented the UCI women’s crew debut at the regatta, completing the course with a time of 21:04.80, and finishing 23rd out of 33 crews. Being that it was the first time UCI women’s rowing sent out a crew to the east coast, excitement and nerves were high as Haley MacKay, the coxswain on the women’s 4+ boat, describes the completion of the race as her boat crossed the finish line: 

“We were overwhelmed by the adrenaline rush and excitement of completing our first row on the Charles, making our mark in history and setting the standard for Irvine crews to come.”

The Boston Regatta was an eventful trip and the entire crew is excited to continue on throughout the race season. While the Head of the Charles was an incredible experience for the select few crew members of an even greater team, it is simply the first stepping stone to the start of a historic season.