Boston, MA - On Saturday October 20th the Sacred Heart Women's rowing team participated in the Head of The Charles Regatta in Boston, MA. The field included 2,031 participants from over 600 programs representing 22 countries. First held on October 16, 1965, the Head of the Charles Regatta is the world's largest two-day rowing event.
Every year athletes from around the world gather for the chance to leave their mark on the Charles. A three-mile race upstream on a river full of bends and bridges promises to keep family, friends and spectators cheering from start to finish.
Sacred Heart University was one of the programs that raced in the Women's Club 4+ against 45 other programs from US, Canada and Europe.
What makes The Head of The Charles unique is that in order to compete you have to go through a lottery draw or you have to have a guaranteed entry from the previous year. In order to get a guaranteed entry you have to finish in the top half of your field.
Sacred Heart University got an entry thru lottery this year and started the race in the women's club 4+ with bow # 32 against 45 other programs from Boston University; Boston College; Texas Rowing center; McGill University; Miami University; Penn State; UConn; New York Athletic Club and many more.
Sacred Heart needed to finish in the top half of the field to guarantee a spot in next year's race. The crew of senior Danielle Palmaccio; sophomore Jaclyn Smith; freshman Jillian Gray; freshman Catherine Lott and coxswain senior Kaitlin Rivest got the job done, finishing in the top half to guarantee a spot in next year's regatta.
"This was accomplished because we got out of the shoot with a strong start," said Palmaccio, "The scenic Boston skyline was not a distraction to us and we quickly got up to speed holding a 32 stroke rate and over took our first opponent within the first 500 meters of the race. This momentum continued throughout the body of race as we walked through 4 more boats. Rivest utilized her knowledge of the course as well as her starboard side to accurately navigate the 180 degree turn of the Charles. This race did not only test our physical endurance but our mental endurance as well. We executed a smart race by strategically passing boats and opening water between us and our opponents before sharp turns and bridges. The race was clean and strong and we did not encounter any major hiccups that strayed us away from the race plan" said Palmaccio.
Qualifying for next year's Head of the Charles is a program first for the Pioneers. Next race for the Pioneers will be The Head of the Fish in Saratoga Springs, New York.