Winter Park Men’s Crew Team Places 9th out of 85

November 2, 2018 by No Comments

By Paulina Castro, Features – 


The Head of the Charles Regatta is a rowing race where about 11,000 crew teams come together to compete. The HOCR was held in Boston, Massachusetts during the weekend of October 20th to the 21st. Winter Park High School Men’s team participated in the regatta and got 9th place out of a total of 85 crews – outstanding!

History of HOCR
The HOCR first started in October 16, 1965 by D’Arcy MacMahon, Howard McIntyre, and Jack Vincent. These men were members of the Cambridge Boat Club. They founded the HOCR because they wanted a break in the training season. Ernest Artlett a rowing instructor from Harvard University initiated the idea of the race to be a head race; which means the race is based of off time not who crosses the finish line first. The regatta was expected to be a failure but has turned into a classic regatta. Many spectators from everywhere in the world go to the Charles river to witness history being made. This regatta has 55 different race events from high school men and women to University elite. Whether rain or shine the two day event is one that everyone looks forward to.
Preparation starts over the summer. They work individually, focusing on conditioning and working out to make sure they stay in shape. When school starts up again there is 2 weeks of optional practice which consists of only land training; they do this together as a team. 2 weeks later water training is incorporated with land training and mixed lineups (boys in a boat with different skill level) begin to form. In these 2 weeks it is mainly rowing by sixes so they rowers can slowly get back into the feel and focus a lot on technique. 3 Weeks until the head of the charles regatta there are many erg test such as 6k, 10k, and 2k and erg quizzes every week to show the standings.
How does the coach come up with the lineup for the regatta? Well the coach takes the top sixteen guys erg results then breaks them up into two groups of eight. Those top eight guys would seat race in two 4s then the best 2 of each of the 4s would automatically be put in the line up and the bottom 2 of each would be kicked out of the running. The same system is used for the second group of eight rowers. About 1 ½ weeks out the final boat line up would practice on the water together focusing on syncing up and technical issues that needed to be adjusted.
Head of the Charles Weekend
The Thursday before the regatta the boats left on the trailer to Boston. On Friday morning the crew flew up and once they arrived they had one last practice before the race on Sunday. The practice on Friday is very important because it is needed so the coxswain can become familiar with the race course and the rowers can make any last adjustments on technique. Saturday the day before the race is used to relax and rest so the body is ready on Sunday.
Many of the rowers watch other races held that day, visit vendors, and eat a lot of food. The crew team went out that night into town and had a nice dinner. Once the boys got back to the hotel the boat meeting was held in one of their rooms. The boat meetings are for the coaches to go over what to expect for the race – who is racing? How fast? – and any technical reminders, tell the coxswain what needs to be done. Basically layout the day for the rowers.
Sunday morning the rowers packed up and got their gear ready to leave to the airport right after they finished racing. Once on the charles river the conditions were cold and windy. The boat warmed up on land by doing stretches after they checked the shell for any loose bolts made sure everything was secure. Then they launch off the dock and headed towards the start. The crew finished in 9th place passing Germany and England. Captain, Jackson Fuller said “we would have been satisfied with top 20 and happy with top 15, but we never expected to be in the top 10, it was a pleasant surprise.”