Illinois women’s club rowing team qualifies for 2014 Head Charles Regatta

Hoping to gain a coveted spot at the 50th anniversary of the Head Charles Regatta next year, the Illinois rowing club’s varsity women’s four-plus team went into the weekend with this goal on its mind. The team finished 15th in Boston on Saturday, earning it a guaranteed entry into next year’s regatta.

Winding through Boston and Cambridge, Mass., the three-mile course draws more than 9,000 competitors and 300,000 spectators annually from all levels and all corners of the globe. The race is a head race, meaning the crews start 15 seconds apart and the winner is determined by the fastest time.

The Illinois women’s four-plus team started with Bow 19, or the 19th position, after coming in 19th last year. However, with fewer competitors in the Collegiate Women’s four-plus this year, the team needed to finish in the top 16 to retain a spot in the race.

In the first few strokes of the race, Illinois was passed by Barry University (Bow 20), which ended up winning with the fastest time. Yet, the team kept rowing strong and passed Vassar (Bow 18) and Simmons (Bow 17). Closing in on the final stretch of the race, the crew was able to overtake Marquette (Bow 15). 

With a time of 19 minutes, 29.399 seconds, Illinois finished merely .005 seconds ahead of Clemson (Bow 3), which earned the final qualifying 16th spot for next year’s regatta. 

Charlotte can be reached at [email protected]com.