Stanford in Top Six Universities at Head of the Charles Regatta

Oct. 23, 2006

Cambridge, MA - Stanford's women's eights started 40th in a field of 45 and finished sixth among all collegiate eights at the 42nd Annual Head of the Charles Regatta.

It was a big day for the Cardinal. The Stanford men's four heated up the racecourse earlier in the afternoon by finishing first in the college ranks and second overall in the Championship fours, behind a crew comprised of Canadian national team hopefuls.

The women's crew raced in a boat loaned by Northeastern University and women's head coach Joe Wilhelm. The Stanford crew was comprised of seniors Stephanie Connolly and Carly York, juniors Kerry Birk, Jenifer Brown, Stephanie Morrison and Jessie Reel, sophomores Kathy Altman and Sophie Aubrey, and freshman Bea Gordon.

Competing against top national and international teams, the Stanford women carved up the serpentine course and passed a number of teams en route to their eighth place overall finish in the Championships eights event, beating national rivals Harvard and Brown, and Pac-10 teams UCLA and Washington State. One hundred thousand spectators lined the shores.

'I'm really proud of the way we fought through the last mile of the race,'Senior Steph Connolly recounted. 'Our coxswain Jen Brown took an awesome turn coming into the final sprint and we were able to pass two boats right before the line, which was really exciting. We accomplished our goals for this regatta and it's an great way to start the season, so we have a lot of positive energy to build on from here.'

'The Head' as the famous race is nicknamed, was the first major regatta for Stanford under new head coach Yaz Farooq. 'The team and I have been together for three weeks,' she said. 'They are an extremely focused and inspired group of student-athletes. Starting 40th in a race like this can be very challenging, but also very fun. They made the most of it and they executed today in the race. This is a solid start for the 'Women of Stanford.' I'm really very happy for them.'

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Stanford competes next in the Head of the American on October 28th in Sacramento.


Head Of The Charles Regatta, the world's largest two-day rowing event, was first held on October 16, 1965. The race was established by the Cambridge Boat Club members D'Arcy MacMahon, Howard McIntyre, and Jack Vincent, with the advice of Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest Arlett. Arlett proposed that a 'head of the river' race similar in tradition to races held in his native England, be held on the Charles River. 'Head' races, a class of regattas, are generally three miles long. Boats race against each other and the clock, starting sequentially approximately fifteen seconds apart.

Winners of each race receive the honorary title of 'Head of the River' or, in this case, 'Head Of The Charles.'

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