Head of the Charles River 2019


Aubrey Engels

The Head of the Charles took place this year October 19th and 20th. This course is known for its difficulty because it spans three miles and includes a total of six bridges. To complete the course one must begin at the Boston University Boathouse and end a little before Heter park. According to rowers, the Eliot and Weeks bridge are the most challenging because their sharp turns are hot spots for collisions.

Siena Leighton , Writer

Head of the Charles is the world’s largest two-day rowing event.The race takes place in Boston at the infamous Charles River where over 11,000 athletes compete to place in the top 40. At Arlington Highschool there are three students that had the honor of going to the Head of the Charles this year, Jensyn Smith, Aubrey Engles, and Ethan Senn. For those who don’t know much about rowing it’s a very challenging sport. This is because its not only physically demanding, but also mentally draining as well . According to SportTek rowing is, “One of the hardest sports in the world”. [https://www.totalsportek.com]. In a competition against all the sports in the world it was rated as number 9. In describing her mentality as she rows Aubrey Engles said, “When your in it it’s almost like everything else goes away…. your mind like switches… when you start you’re so focused.” Jensyn Smith added that when her mom cheers she never hears her because she’s so in the zone. Similarly, Ethan Senn said, “On race day I’m completely focused… you can’t just mindlessly row… a good rower will always be focused in at all times, and that’s hard sometimes on long rows.” 

This year for Head of the Charles was particularly exciting for the team because Ethan’s crew placed 22nd out of 86 boats, making his team the fastest in the Pacific Northwest. However, an achievement like that doesn’t happen overnight. Ethan Senn says he’s been rowing since the spring season of 7th grade, making this his 11th season. The three train Monday through Fridays from 3-6pm with the addition of the occasional Saturday. With this fact, it’s no surprise that when asked to describe rowing they said, “Hard work, determination, and commitment”. In other words, rowing is not for the faint of heart, but at times it’s almost, “addicting… when its off season all you want to do is be there [out on the water].” says Smith and Engels. For these three, the fall season didn’t stop at the Head of the Charles, they also competed in the San Diego Fall Classic November 10th and Head of the Lake on November 3rd.