Salisbury's boat in the Youth Fours at last Saturday's Head of the Charles Regatta took 9th place in an international field of 85 entrants. The boat was manned by Kevin Warming '19 at stroke, Jackson Polverari '19, Ryan Elsinga '19, Riley Guerrera '19 in the bow, and coxswain Matt Wesson '20. Among schools competing, Salisbury took 3rd; the other six boats ahead of the Knights were all clubs. "Salisbury's boat posted the fastest time of any school in our league," crew coach Toby Ayer pointed out, "and that's a good omen for the spring season. It is worth noting as well," Ayer added, "that both the 1st and 6th place finishers in the Youth Fours were Canadian, while an English boat was 8th."
The largest two-day rowing event in the world, the Head of the Charles draws some 11,000 rowers to compete in a broad range of categories: men and women in singles, doubles, fours, and eights and in age groups from youth to Senior Veterans (70+). Public attendance along the three-mile shoreline of Boston's Charles River typically runs upward of 300,000. The 2018 Head of the Charles marked the 54th running of the event; the first races were organized in 1965.
"It is sometimes called 'America's fall rowing festival,'" observed Ayer, a race participant himself, "and for rowers it is like a big reunion of everyone you know in the sport. There are hospitality tents for alumni and other groups, and lots of vendors selling rowing gear, clothing, boats, oars, and other technology, jewelry, and so forth. Lots of food, of course."
A number of recent Salisbury graduates competed, including Peter Fousek '17 of Williams, Tyler Somerville '17 of Trinity, and Kento Kaijima '15 of Bates, whose boats finished 15th, 16th, and 22nd respectively in the Collegiate Eights events. In the Club Eights, William Berkowitz '16 of Dartmouth finished 3rd, and William Mulhall '18 of Boston University finished 5th, following what Ayer described as a "dramatic collision with a goose." Ayer and fellow Salisbury coach Dick Curtis, who had the pleasure of racing with his son Dan '06, each competed in masters events during the weekend.
Salisbury's fall rowing program addresses two needs. First, it provides a training regimen and a college showcase for the School's top rowers. Second, it offers an introductory program for new rowers to get a head start on learning the sport's rudiments.
- Procter Smith