Head Of The Charles rowing regatta: Canadians Howard & Marquart sweep top races

Monday, 22 October 2007

Though Saturday’s opening day of the 43rd Head Of The Charles® Regatta will be remembered as an All-America day brought on by unseasonably warm 71-degree temperatures, it was Canada that walked away the biggest winners.

Canadian national team members Malcolm Howard and Darcy Marquardt took home their respective title in the Championship Singles event, which is the first time that the country to the North has taken home both titles in the same year.

Howard, who finished in a time of 17:39.445, erased a five-second lead in the final 1.25 miles from reigning world champion Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, and held on for a .688 second victory over the Kiwi to become the first Canadian since Jonathan Beare (2003) to take home the Championship Singles title.

Marquardt’s victory appeared much easier than her Canadian counterpart, as her final time of 19:14.519 was nearly 18 seconds better then runner-up Liane Malcos, but that was hardly the case. American Michelle Guerette, who finished third at this year’s World Championship in Munich. Guerette held a slight lead with half-a-mile remaining, but tangled with two boats before the finish line and not only lost precious seconds, but received a 30-second penalty for interference, dropping her to ninth-place overall.

Though the Americans didn’t reign in the singles events, they were able to sweep the Championship Doubles event for the second year in a year. On the men’s side, U.S. Rowing’s Sam Stitt and Sloan DuRoss (16:32.264) easily cruised to victory earning a 21-second victory over Canadians Cameron Sylvester and Timothy Colson. Potomac Boat Club’s Margaret Matia and Liz Mygatt defended their title with a 1.2 second victory over Jana Herre and Wendy Tripican.

Favorable winds made for fast course conditions in the morning leading to a total of 10 new course records. The summer-like temperatures also brought enormous crowds to the banks of the Charles, as Massachusetts State Police estimated more than 131,000 fans were in attendance. The 2007 Head Of The Charles concludes on Sunday with age-classified, youth and lightweight events preceding the marquis Championship Fours and Eights events.

Jim Connelly,

Last Updated ( Monday, 22 October 2007 )