The 2019 Head of The Charles Regatta kicks off this weekend in Boston, USA. Here’s our roundup of the biggest names to watch in the weekend’s premier events.
Championship Women’s Single
All eyes will be on home favourite and local Newton native Gevvie Stone in the Championship Women’s Singles as she vies for a record tenth win in this event. Stone won the event by over 30 seconds in 2018 and holds the course record. The eight-time US national team sculler most notably won silver in the women’s single at Rio 2016 and having taken time out since the last Olympics to focus on her medical career returned to international rowing this summer, racing in the double with Cicely Madden at world cup II and the 2019 world championships.
However, Stone faces stiff competition from her US teammates as she goes up against her own doubles partner Madden and top US single sculler Kara Kohler who won bronze at the World Championships in the single this summer and finished second behind Stone in the Championship Singles at HOCR last year.
Threatening to spoil the US women’s party is this summer’s world championship silver medallist Emma Twigg of New Zealand, who last won in Boston in 2016 in the Championship Women’s Doubles. Twigg returned to rowing with a bang this year having retired after finishing fourth in the single at Rio 2016. Twigg won both the second and third world cups she attended this season and is on formidable form.
Championship Men’s Single
Lightweight US national team sculler Andrew Campbell is the current HOCR course record holder in the event (17:11.646) and will be looking to take on his heavyweight counterparts with a repeat of his 2014 HOCR victory.
He goes up against fellow Americans John Graves, who finished third in Boston in 2018 and competed in the US men’s quad at this year’s world championships, and Kevin Meador who represented the US in the men’s single at the last two world championships.
The biggest international name in the men’s singles event this year is Denmark’s 2019 world championships silver medallist Sverri Nielsen. Nielsen arrives in Boston off the back of his most successful season having won gold medals at both the Poznan and Rotterdam world cups.
Championship Men’s Eight
Leading the charge in the men’s eights will be the US national team eight racing as the USRowing Training Center. Having won here last year they will set off first in their division. Following in hot pursuit will be last year’s HOCR collegiate champions Yale University who are also the reigning US IRA national champions.
Overseas entries include the top British university Oxford Brookes who will be hoping to continue their impressive winning streak this summer that saw them win both the Temple Cup and Ladies Plate at the 2019 Henley Royal Regatta. Cambridge University are also making the trip to Boston off the back of their 2019 Oxford v Cambridge Boat Races clean sweep. They will be joined by a DRV Dortmund eight from Germany, a KNRB eight from the Netherlands and an Italian eight racing as Gruppo Nautico Fiamme Gialle.
Championship Women’s Eight
The US national team are fielding two eights again this year in the Championship Women’s Eights, having finished third and first last year. They will face competition from last year’s top collegiate finishers Stanford University as well as Washington University who have swept two of the last three NCAA national championships. Among the international entries are the Oxford Brookes women who won the Academic Eights title at Henley Women’s Regatta this summer and Dutch university A.S.R. Nereus as well as a British club crew from Tideway Scullers.
There is also an all-star, international entry under the name of ‘Imperial College London’ comprising current and ex-international rowers from around the world. The Imperial College London lineup: Mary Whipple (USA), Jess Eddie (GB), Kerry Simmonds (USA), Rebecca Scown (NZL), Melanie Wilson (GB), Emma Twigg (NZL), Susan Francia (USA),Sara Hendershot (USA) and Lauren Wilkinson (CAN)