Champs of the Charles: Harvard Heavies Start Milestone Season with Landmark Win

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—The Harvard heavyweight crew won the premier eights race at the Head of the Charles for the first time in 34 years, getting Harry Parker's 50th season as head coach off to a victorious start Sunday afternoon at the world's largest two-day rowing event.

The Crimson won the championship eights race for the third time and first time since 1977 and, along with the Harvard lightweights, put together a team performance that earned them the MacMahon Cup Regatta Point Trophy for the most total points by any club, school, college or university. The Harvard lights placed second, first among collegiate entries, in the lightweight eights race, while the Radcliffe championship eight took second and the Radcliffe lightweight eight placed third on an outstanding weekend for Harvard rowers.

Harvard's second championship eight placed 15th, and the C entry finished 21st. The championship four placed fourth in 16:31.3. On Saturday, Harvard heavyweight boats took third and 22nd out of 39 club eights.

The winning eight of Patrick Lapage, Matthew Edstein, Caspar Jopling, Andrew Reed, Sam O'Connor, Josh Hicks, Andrew Holmes, James O'Connor and coxswain David Fuller posted a time of 14:17.68 on the three-mile course to finish 6.53 seconds ahead of the runner-up USRowing entry in a 34-boat field. The group wore shirts with "50 YEARS" spelled out on their backs in commemoration of Parker's milestone season.

"To win out here, especially in his 50th year, was really special for all of us," said Sam O'Connor, one of three seniors in the victorious eight. "We've really had a great time rowing for him, and we felt like we were representing some of the others who rowed for him before."

Washington finished third, 8.5 seconds back of the Crimson. Harvard started last season by placing second to the Huskies in the Head of the Charles and completed the collegiate season trailing only Washington at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championships. With 15-second intervals between starts in this year's race, Harvard began second behind Washington, was rowing in the UW wake by time the boats reached Anderson Bridge and pulled level by the Cambridge Boat Club. The Huskies held on to finish before Harvard, but the Crimson had the top time.
The Crimson also defeated many other top collegiate crews, including fifth-place Brown, sixth-place California and 11th-place Princeton. The second Harvard boat finished the course a second faster than the lone entry from Yale.
Parker had a simple explanation for the successful row. "It's just a good crew," he said. "I'm really pleased. They've worked really hard the past few weeks, and they rowed a great race." 

Harvard/Radcliffe Results
Men's championship singles:  Nicholas Baker '07 – 11 of 30, 19:13.77
Men's championship singles:  Joe Medioli '08 – 28 of 30, 20:29.52
Women's championship singles: Olivia Coffey '11 – 13 of 25, 21:19.23
Women's senior-master eights: Radcliffe Association of Rowing Alumnae – 27th of 29, 21:05.9
Men's alumni eights: HVL+ Boat Club – 11th of 38, 16:22.6
Women's alumnae eights: Radcliffe Association of Rowing Alumnae – 17th of 30, 19:19.0
Men's club fours: Harvard lightweight crew – 3rd of 52, 17:17.7
Men's club eights: Harvard heavyweight crew B – 3rd of 39, 15:35.1
Men's club eights: Harvard lightweight crew – 18th of 39, 16:31.8
Men's club eights: Harvard heavyweight crew A – 22nd of 39, 16:45.1
Women's club eights: Radcliffe heavyweight crew – 13th of 28, 19:00.7
Women's master doubles: Texas Rowing Center/Cambridge Boat Club (Linda Muri and Lindsay Burns Barber '87) – 2nd of 19, 20:43.0
Men's championship doubles: USRowing Training Center – Oklahoma City (Austin Meyer and Andrew Campbell) – 2nd of 20, 16:42.9 

Women's lightweight singles: Lizzy Bates '11 – 12th of 23, 21:21.8
Men's championship fours: Harvard heavyweight crew – 4th of 17, 16:31.3
Men's championship fours: Harvard lightweight crew – 9th of 17, 16:51.3
Women's championship fours: Radcliffe heavyweight crew – 8th of 20, 19:05.1
Men's championship eights: Harvard heavyweight crew A – 1st of 34, 14:17.6
Men's championship eights: Harvard heavyweight crew B – 15th of 34, 14:57.3
Men's championship eights: Harvard heavyweight crew C – 21st of 34, 15:11.1
Men's championship eights: Riverside Boat Club (includes Daniel Kettler '07) – 25th of 34, 15:16.1
Women's championship eights: Radcliffe heavyweight crew A – 2nd of 39, 16:19.6
Women's championship eights: Radcliffe heavyweight crew B – 22nd of 39, 17:15.4
Men's lightweight fours: Harvard lightweight crew – 13th of 22, 18:13.3
Women's lightweight fours: Radcliffe lightweight crew – 9th of 14, 20:26.1
Men's lightweight eights: USRowing (including Will Newell '11) – 1st of 17, 14:27.7
Men's lightweight eights: Harvard lightweight crew A – 2nd of 17, 14:41.8
Men's lightweight eights: Harvard lightweight crew B – 13th of 17, 15:44.6
Women's lightweight eights: Radcliffe lightweight crew A – 3rd of 8, 17:17.1
Women's lightweight eights: Radcliffe lightweight crew B – 5th of 8, 18:41.2