Greenwich Crew Shines at 55th Head of the Charles Regatta
By Paul Silverfarb
In what was a historic day for Greenwich Crew on the Charles River in Boston, Mass., the Women’s Eights earned their third consecutive second place finish and the Men’s Eights earned their first-ever Head of the Charles medal by bringing home the bronze.
Both the men’s and women’s youth teams sent their top four boats to the 55th annual Head of the Charles regatta, considered the biggest regatta of the fall season and arguably the biggest of the entire year.
In what can only be described as a complete success, all four of the youth boats Greenwich Crew sent to Boston finished in the top 20 of their respective races. In addition, both with a second and third place finish, both the men’s and women’s Youth-Eights teams picked up an automatic entry into next year’s Head of the Charles regatta.
“Greenwich Crew saw its best performance ever at this year’s Head of the Charles,” said Greenwich Crew Director of Rowing Mike Wieneke. “Our juniors and masters all qualified their boats for next year’s regatta and added three medals to the result. The ability to field such highly competitive boats speaks to the depth on all of our teams. Every athlete and coach had a role in achieving our amazing results. As Director of Rowing, I could not be more proud of our full program based on results, as well as the quality of individual we help develop.”
The Greenwich Women’s Eights, comprised of Meredith Blanchard, Schuyler Hyde, Olivia Schnur, Emma Simpson, Caroline Schmitz, Phoebe Wise, Jessica Hooper, Sophia Gilroy, and coxswain Meredith Lundberg battled 84 other boats, including national rivals Marin, Calif.; Sarasota, Fla.; and local rivals and Row America Rye (N.Y.) and five time defending champion Saugatuck (CT) Boat Club.
Finishing with a blistering time of 16:40, Greenwich took the silver medal just behind winner Row America Rye, who crossed the finish line at 16:34 and ahead of third place finisher Marin, who finished at 16:43. Sarasota and Saugatuck finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
Not to be outdone were the athletes in the Greenwich Men’s Eights. Included in that event were Greenwich Crew members Samuel Terry, Duncan Cavanaugh, Quinten Cohen, William Wright, Matthew Phillips, Brandon Mark, Andrew Cavanaugh, Trent Boone, and coxswain Alexander Chung.
The Greenwich Men’s Eights, who also competed in a field 85 boats from around the country and abroad, secured the bronze medal with a lightning fast time of 14:39, just slightly behind second place St. Paul, who finished with time of 14:34 and winner Row America Rye, who finished with a time of 14:20. The crew from St. Paul is from London, England. Community Racing (Mass.) and Marin rounded out the top five finishers.
“I’m incredibly proud of how the Men’s team performed at the 55th Head of the Charles,” said Men’s head coach Cary Wasserman. “The Varsity 8+ had an unbelievable race, passing several boats on their way to a third-place finish out of 85. That was the best in Men’s team history. They had a very aggressive race plan and executed it beautifully.
“What was most exciting was to see how young we were compared to our competition, as we were the youngest boat in the top 10,” added Wasserman. “We had two sophomores, four juniors and only three seniors Our Varsity 4+ also post a best finish for the Men’s team, finishing 13th overall.”
In addition to bringing home the silver and bronze medals for Greenwich Crew, two other youth boats finished in the top 15.
The Greenwich Women’s Fours captured 11th place out of 85 boats with a time of 19:16. Competing in that event was Anna Brause, Meredith Marra, Eva Andersen, Brooke Legenzowski, and coxswain Lydia Garnett.
The Greenwich Men’s Fours, comprised of George Gilfond, Ryan Bucaria, Owen Lee, Mark Lorenz, and coxswain Carly Legenzowski captured 13th place out of their respective 85 boat field with a time of 17:05.
Unlike the 2,000-meter spring sprinting season, the approximately three-mile head race up the Charles River is a grueling test of speed and endurance.