The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

The official student newspaper of The Hockaday School

The Fourcast

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Fast Waters

Rowing team competes at the world-renowned Head of the Charles Regatta
The+Varsity+coxed+quad+with+their+coxswain+from+The+Nobles+School.
The Varsity coxed quad with their coxswain from The Nobles School.

Crossing under Elliot Bridge, senior Caroline Stevens and her other boatmates listen to the mass of spectators watching above, hearing the cowbells over their coxswain’s booming voice pushing them to finish the last thousand meters of their race.  

Started in 1965, the Head of the Charles Regatta is known as one of rowing’s most prestigious events. As the largest multi-day regatta in the world, Head of the Charles brings in thousands of athletes along with tens of thousands of spectators. Hockaday began competing at the event in 2019 in the single event with Julie Valois ’19. Since then, the team has come a long way, bringing more athletes to compete and pushing the bar on their placement.  

“For each time we compete, the most impressive thing is that these crews change from year-to-year,” Varsity Rowing Head Coach William Forteith said. “It is a testament to the team’s ability to maintain and build speed even as seniors graduate and move onto to collegiate rowing.” 

Hockaday competed in three events, the Women’s Youth Coxed Quad, Youth Double and Youth Single. Out of the three entries, Hockaday succeeded in receiving an automatic bid in two of them, as the single, rowed by Senior Erin Antes, finished 31st out of 46 boats, missing the cut off by only a few places.  

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Seniors Evie Fox, Caroline Stevens, Zoe Stone and Abby Grace McGowan rowed together in the Youth Women’s Coxed Quad at the Head of the Charles Regatta on Oct. 22. Completing the race in 20 minutes, the boat placed 11th out of 50, the best result for the coxed quad in the crew team’s history.  

While the quad does not require a coxswain for other regattas, Head of the Charles makes a coxswain necessary for all Junior events due to its sharp turns and need for strategy. So, the team races with a guest coxswain from Nobles, a boarding school in Boston.  

“At Charles, you have to have a good coxswain just because the course is so difficult and in a larger boat, like a quad, it moves too fast to where the sharp turns can be dangerous,” Stevens said. 

Throughout the 4702-meter race, the coxswain not only manages the steering, but simultaneously makes calls to the rest of the boat providing encouragement and specific instructions.  

As seniors, the coxed quad hoped to make history for the team and push the standards for a school team. Placing 11th overall, the coxed quad placed second against the school teams who competed in their race.  

“For us not only to go each year, but also to re-qualify each year, it speaks to the work the rowers do in season as well as out of season from their own individual initiative,” Forteith said. “Looking at the results of this year’s coxed quad, for instance, if you remove all of the club coxed quads, the only school faster than Hockaday was the Kent School in Connecticut.”  

Senior Emery Stehel and Junior Alyssa Cuban raced the Charles in the Youth Women’s Double, placing 23rd out of 54 entries. Since they finished in the top 50 percent of doubles, the team receives an automatic bid for next year. 

Alyssa Cuban shakes hands with coach William Foreith before the race.

Going into their race, Stehel and Cuban planned out what pace they wanted to go at, what calls Stehel, the bow, would make and specific techniques they wanted to focus on.  

“We thought about things that moved the boat well during practice and would create calls that would summarize those things in two or three words,” Cuban said.  

Cuban said that during their race they also adjusted due to weather and other racers.  

“When we got up to the start line, it was really windy, so we had to adjust to that,” Cuban said. “Also, we were gaining ground on another, less experienced boat, so when Emery yelled at them to yield, they just stopped, forcing us to stop and sacrifice time.”

Despite the difficulties, Cuban described how much she enjoyed the race and why the environment at the Charles is like no other regatta.  

“At Charles, everyone who is there has been working for so long, it feels like everyone’s fall seasons have been working towards this moment. It’s so exciting to see the outcome,” Cuban said. 

 

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Truelove
Elizabeth Truelove, Sports Editor