Men’s crew team set for Boston’s Head of Charles regatta


first_imgAfter a disappointing 2004 season, the men’s crew team opens its 2005 campaign at the prestigious Head of the Charles regatta in Boston, Mass., this weekend.Established in 1965, the regatta is now the world’s largest two-day rowing event. “Head” races are three miles long and boats compete against each other and the clock, starting in succession approximately 15 seconds apart.Winners of the races receive the honorary title of “Head of the River,” or in this case “Head of the Charles.” With more than 7,000 participants competing in 24 different races, the Head of the Charles regatta has become a major attraction in the rowing world.In this year’s Head of the Charles, the Badgers will be competing in both the four-man championship as well as the championship eights. Although Wisconsin put forth an impressive four-man performance last season, head coach Chris Clark is looking for improvement from his eight-man boat.”Last year’s Head of Charles performance was really an exact mirror of how we did last season,” Clark said.” The four-man boat really blossomed and continued to do so throughout the season. The eight-man boat finished somewhere out of the top 20 and it wasn’t good.”We fell a long way in the eight last year and it’s hard to believe were not going to do better,” he continued. “We’ve got everyone back with one more year experience and they got a bitter taste in their mouth from last year.”The Badgers are led by senior captain Ryan Larson, who headed six first-place boats in the 2004 season. With a predominantly young team, the veterans know it will be up to them to lead their younger counterparts and carry the load. Junior eight-man rower Matt Donohue is up for the challenge.”Were just looking to improve on last year and hopefully finish in the top ten at the very least,” Donohue said. “We’re still pretty young, and it’s time for the older guys like myself to step up and fill the leadership positions as upperclassmen. As long as we fulfill that leadership role during the races and during the season, we should be successful this weekend and throughout the course of the year.”The four-man boat, which is coming off a season in which they held the No. 2 ranking in the country, is looking to start the season strong and build off of last year’s performance.”We’ve all got to step up come together as a boat and put up some good scores this weekend,” four-man rower Derek Rasmussen said. “It’s a great event — there’s a lot of history on the Charles River.”Wisconsin, which finished with 98 total points and the No. 12-ranking in the country last season, will be competing against some of the top crew teams in the country, including No. 1 Princeton, No. 2 Cal and No. 3 Harvard.Although the Head of the Charles is not a championship competition, the large scale of the event coupled with the talented competitors makes this a very important weekend for the Badgers.”The only unfortunate thing is that it’s the first thing on our schedule,” Clark said. The nice thing about that is that it gets you juiced up for the upcoming season. It’s very exciting — there are 100,000 people there and 7,000 rowers compete. The guys are all really fired up for it.”last_img

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