Queen's University Boat Club rowers represented Irish rowing at the 44th Head of the Charles regatta (HOCR) in the U.S on the weekend of the 18th and 19th of October 2008. The HOCR is the world's largest two-day rowing event and was first held on the 16th of October, 1965. More than 7,500 athletes from around the world compete in 55 different race events. In 1997 the Regatta grew to a two-day event iand now attracts up to 300,000 spectators during the October weekend.
A coxed four made up of Pádraig Bolger, Christopher Coyle, Marc Butler, Niall Brady and Victroia Mulholland travelled to Boston to compete in the Men’s Collegiate Four event which took place at 3.25pm local time on Saturday the 18th.
The Queen’s crew was one of 32 in this event and were placed 22nd in the starting lineup and were confident heading into the winding 5 kilometer course. The four started strong and settled into a sustainable rhythm within in the first 500meters only to have this rhythm upset when the stroke man came of his seat due to faulty equipment. This would not be the last time in the race for it was to happen another 3 times during the race. However the affect was to drive the crew on in order to make up those lost seconds.
Despite the mishaps during the race, the crew finished the course strongly, overtaking a crews along the course. The picture above shows the four passing a crew while making their way through the Elliot bridge.Their time over 5Km was 17.56.48 and were placed 17th out of 32 crews.
The members of the crew would like to thank all the coaching staff at Queen’s for encouraging this trip, Andy O’Brien at Riverside Boat House for his kind help and advice, Michael Polson for his shouts of support from the Weeks Footbridge, and Nigel Haig Gallaher for his hospitality at Cambridge Boat Club.
Results from the race can be found here.