Oct. 29, 2010
BOSTON, Mass. - Stanford women's rowing took part in the Head of the Charles Regatta Sunday in Boston, as the women's eight turned in a ninth-place finish in the championship eights class.
The Head of the Charles features a three-mile long course along the Charles River, with crews taking off in a staggered start 15 seconds apart from one another.
Starting from the sixth position, the Stanford women's eight got off to a fast start over the first three-quarters of a mile, closing the gap on Brown, UVA and Washington, and posting the third fastest time behind Yale and Princeton as the through the famous "Powerhouse" stretch.
A late turn at the 90-degree Weeks Bridge corner brought the Cardinal to a dead stop in the arch with Tennessee barreling down on them. Stanford narrowly escaped collision and blasted out of the bridge, overlapping bow and stern with the Lady Vol crew. The stop relegated the Cardinal to 13th at the halfway mark of the race, but the Cardinal fought back to pass Tennessee before the next obstacle, the Anderson Bridge. Stanford would then post the second-fastest split at the next mark, the Cambridge Boat Club, pulling it back into the top 10.
A clean turn through "Dead Man's Curve" and a strong final 750 meters moved the Cardinal up one more spot and into ninth place to close the race.
"They raced with reckless abandon, including an `up close and personal' encounter with the Weeks Bridge," said Stanford women's head coach Yasmin Farooq. "To their credit, all nine of them got right back in the race and attacked. The Head of the Charles is a true `running of the gauntlet' for a crew. There's a bond that's created when a team survives adversity and perseveres like they did. They pulled the last mile for their teammates at home, and they clearly meant it. They showed real character and I am encouraged for the weeks and months to come."
"Each year, we always say, 'Anything can happen at the Head of the Charles,' and this year was no exception," said Stanford captain Erika Roddy. "Our start was aggressive, and we executed our plan of attacking the race from the very beginning. When we missed the big Weeks Bridge turn a little before the halfway point, we responded to the unexpected situation not only with composure, but also with a new determination. Knowing that we had to work that much harder to make up lost ground pushed us into finding that next gear earlier than any of us had planned, and I'm really proud of how well we responded to the challenge."
Stanford Women's Eight Lineup