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U.S. Team Dominant at Regatta

Boston Hosts 34th Head of the Charles

By Brian K. Richter

The United States National Team won the men’s championship eight event at the 34th running of Head of the Charles Regatta -- the world’s largest rowing event -- here in Boston this weekend. MIT Alumnus Donald Smith ’95 won the Championship Single event proving himself to be one of the fastest single scullers in the world.

The race, which runs three miles up stream from the Boston University Bridge to the Northeastern Boathouse, featured over 6,000 oarsmen and over 300,000 spectators. People came from all over the world and all over the country to participate in the event. The rowers’ skill level varied from club enthusiasts and masters category rowers to world champions and the fastest collegiate crews. The weather was excellent for spectators. However, strong winds made conditions a little more difficult than normal for the oarsmen.

U.S. National Team dominates

In the premier men’s championships eights event the World Champion U.S. National team cruised to an easy victory with their closest competitors being the Germans (15:00.51) who finished 12 seconds after them. Molesey Boat Club from England, Brown University and the Princeton National Team Training Center rounded out the top five. Princeton and Yale Universities were the second and third fastest collegiate finishers.

In the women’s championship eight event, the Canadian National Team won, followed by the U.S. and Denmark.

The Men’s Championship single proved more exciting this year than ever before as it featured a number of the world’s best scullers; many of them will compete in the Sydney Olympics. A number of them already hold World Championship and Olympic Gold Medals. MIT Sloan alum Don Smith (18:24) surprised the rowing world when he passed two-time Head of the Charles and two-time world champion Jamie Koven (18:56) in the third mile of the race. Smith then extended his lead to capture a nine-second victory over second place finisher Cyrus Beasly, U.S. single sculler at the Atlanta Olympics.

Another sculler affiliated with MIT, Mike Perry ’99, left a mark on the rowing world with a high finish in the Championship Single, guaranteeing him a spot in next year’s regatta. Perry captured 7th place in 19:09.

In the Lightweight Eights race, the U.S. National team again won followed by the Canadians and then Yale University.

The Sloan men’s crew -- Peter A. Milt (cox), Dominick Layfield G (stroke), Michael P. Harms G, Philip H. Bradley G, Remko Vos G, James E. Geshwiler G, Jameson James G, Brian D. Harms G, Michael Lohse (bow) -- finished 6th in the Club Eight event behind Harvard who won in 16:20. Professor Hartley Rogers finished 3rd in the Senior Veteran singles category.