Illinois rowing struggles at Head of the Charles

By Jacob Lewis , Contributing writer

The Illinois rowing team struggled in last weekend’s Head of the Charles regatta in Boston.

The Illini sent two crews to the race. The men’s crew finished 39th out of 43 in its Collegiate 4+ division, and the women’s crew finished 23rd out of 28 in its Collegiate 8+ division.

Head coach Cameron Carter said that he is disappointed in the results of the race. He felt that the poor weather conditions, including heavy head winds, and the crews’ inexperience contributed to their performance.

However, he praised his team’s composure and looked at the races as more of a learning experience.

“This race was more of an opportunity for these guys to see the higher level competition,” Carter said.

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    He added that the atmosphere may have contributed to the poor showing. The event, which is one the largest regattas in the world, featured over 800 clubs and 2,000 boats from across the globe.

    Participants are chosen through a lottery system, but teams can guarantee a spot in the race by finishing within the top half of their divisions. The Illini were able to guarantee their spot last season, but this race’s finish will put them back into the lottery for next year.

    Despite the poor showing, Carter feels that the experience the rowers gained through this race will help them throughout the season, particularly in preparing for the ACRA National Championship in the spring.

    The rowing team next competes Sunday in Chicago in a friendly scrimmage against DePaul. The scrimmage is part of a fundraiser called Race4ROW, an event sponsored by Recovery on Water, or ROW. The non-profit organization looks to raise funds to help fight breast cancer through exercise, particularly rowing.

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