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Crew to race in Head of the Charles

By Jeff Kuehn267-6091

The MIT varsity crews will compete this Sunday in the biggest single-day regatta in the world -- The Head of the Charles. Held each October on the Charles River, "The Head" involves over 2000 competitors in about 800 shells. The course begins at the Boston University boathouse, just this side of the BU bridge, and winds along the Charles for three miles, finishing half a mile past the Eliot bridge. Hundreds of thousands of spectators traditionally line the banks, cheering on the rowers, whose boats leave the starting line about every fifteen seconds all day long.

MIT's varsity teams will field eight shells Sunday. A heavyweight men's four-oared-shell begins the day for MIT at 9 am, followed by two heavyweight men's eights and a women's eight at around 9:30. The women's youth 4, with all rowers and coxswain under age 20, will leave the line around 10:30 am, and the women's youth 8 event begins an hour later.

For late-sleeping fans, the varsity lightweight team has entered two boats in the championship lightweight event, held at 1:30 pm, and will compete against the US national team, the French national team, and many other powerful crews from around the world. Due to the limited number of entries in this event, one MIT shell will be listed in the program as MIT and the other will be disguised as the Sparhawk Sculling School from Vermont.

Many MIT alumni and professors will be competing throughout the day, including Professor of Mathematics Hartley Rogers, who has won his sculling event in past years. Also competing in the master's four event in the defending champion boat from Lake Washington Rowing Club is Stu Scmill '86, the current boathouse director and coach of the freshmen heavyweights.

All eight varsity crews are enthusiastic about this race and the opportunity to compete against some of the best crews in the world. Heavyweight co-captain Brad Layton '92 said, "We're rowing well. This is a really tough race, where finishing in the top third of your event is pretty darn good. We can do well and I'm real excited about it. The lightweights look really fast, though -- the fastest crew we've had around here in a while."

Jeff Kuhen '92 is captain of the varsity lightweight crew team.