53rd Head of the Charles


Saturday, October 20th

Event 20: @ 1:31pm, Men’s Club Fours (M Club 4+)

Event 28: @ 3:43pm, Men’s Championship Double (M CHAMP 2X)

Sunday, October 21st

Event 33a: @ 7:45am, Mixed Inclusion Double (MX INCL 2X)

Event 44b: @ 1:15pm, Men’s Lightweight Fours (M LW 4+):



(Kingston, RI)

This past weekend was the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta held on the Charles River in Boston Ma. As usual, the event attracted a large number of entrants as approximately eight hundred teams/clubs attended the two day event. URI was represented well as it had four team entries and eight alumni competing.

Day one was started early with alum Rick Anderson (‘72). The Michigan based Anderson, rowing for Rockford Crew, entered in the Men’s Veteran 1x I & II [60+]. His time of 20 minutes 12 seconds was good enough for 5th place out of fifty-five crews.

Anderson at Masters Nationals in 2010 (race photo currently unavailable)

The next URI alum to take the course was Al Morrone (‘86) in the Grand Masters 1x. Morrone, rowing unaffiliated, completed the course in 24 minutes 3 seconds to place 49th.

Al Morrone competing in Grand Master 1x

Alumna Anne Fleet (‘83) competed in the Women’s Senior Masters 2x [50+]. Fleet stroked the Narragansett Boat Club 2x to an eighth place finish out of 34 entries with a time of 20 minutes 31 seconds.

Anne Fleet (stroke) rowing for Narragansett

Also competing for Narragansett Boat Club, Robin Gross (formerly Howe) competed in the Women’s Senior Masters 8+. The crew finished in 9th out of thirty-six competitors with a time of 18 minutes 35 seconds.

Robin Gross (bow) competing in Senior Masters Women’s 8+

Recent graduate Rachel Purington (’17), working with Community Rowing Inc. (CRI), coxed the Massachusetts State Police in the Men’s Senior Masters 4+ [40+]. Purington is no stranger to the Charles course as she competed in the event all four years as a collegiate. The crew’s time of 22 minutes 37 seconds was good enough for a 25th.

Rachel Purington with Mass State Police Senior Master 4+.

The Men’s Club 4+ was the first event the team competed in. The V4 of Carl Neff, Colin Moulton, Steve O’Brien, Grady Bolan, and coxswain Max Fullmer placed 13th out of fifty-two crews and were the 7th collegiate crew with their time of 17 minutes 37 seconds. Finishing in the top half, the crew secured the team a spot in next year’s regatta. The V4 were not the only Rams on the course during this event as AJ Fournier (’09) was racing for Riverfront in Connecticut. Fournier, who is also an assistant coach at UConn, coxed the Riverfront boat to a medal with a 4th place finish overall and was 2nd out of twenty-seven club crews. Their time of 16 minutes 51 seconds was one of only six crews to break 17 minutes in the event.

AJ Fournier (middle) on the medal stand with the Riverfront Club 4+.
V4 races to 13th place finish in Club 4+

In the Men’s Club 8+ event, James Leech (’13), competing for Riverside Boat Club in Cambridge, Ma., rowed to a time of 14 minutes 42 seconds. The time was good enough for 3rd out of thirty-six entries and 1st out of Club entries losing only to boats from Boston University and Harvard. It was the second time Leech won gold for the club subset as it was a repeat performance of last year’s win. It was a dominant win as the next closest club team was Potomac who was approximately 23 seconds behind.

James Leech Rowing his way to his second HOCR gold medal

The final event for the Rams on day one was the Men’s Championship 2x. The days leading up to the race could be described as nothing less than hectic as many things were changed around. The line-up of Joe Martinez and Dom Campione was put together last minute after Charlie Boyle (’14) suffered a back injury early in the week. Switching Martinez from bow to stroke and Campione learning the course on short notice, the double still managed a time of 18 minutes 20 seconds which was good enough for 15th overall and 2nd out of collegiate crews in the event.

Joe Martinez (stroke) and Dom Campione (bow) racing by the crowd

Day two was a beautiful day for racing and it started bright and early as the Mixed Inclusion 2x was the first event of the day at 7:45am. The double of Caitlin Nearing (bow) and Kelly Rothenberger (stroke), having never experienced the course, raced to a 6th place finish with a time of 21 minutes 56 seconds. Finishing 6th out of fifteen, the girls secured the boat for next year’s regatta.

Kelly Rothenberger (stroke) and Caitlin Nearing (bow) experience the course for the first time

The Rams last event for the day, and the weekend, was the Men’s Lightweight 4+. Similar to the situation in the Men’s Club 4+ event, Rhody had a team entry as well as an alumnus competing. The crew of Connor Dunn, John Mannion, Alex Isabelle, Matt Leal and coxswain Emily King, raced to a time of 16 minutes 59 seconds and placed 13th. Joe Hanna (’10) competed in the Riverside lightweight four that placed 5th in a time of 16 minutes 7 seconds. Hanna’s boat was the top club entry in the event as they beat the next closest club entry by over 10 seconds.

Lightweight 4+ from the bridge
Joe Hanna (bow) with Riversides Lightweight 4+ That placed 5th

The Rams next appearance will be this coming Saturday, October 28th, at The Head of the Fish in Saratoga, NY. URI will have quite a few entries as it is the first race for the novice rowers who have been itching to race all fall. The race is also the last race of the fall before the Alumni Intersquad Rumble which is on November 18th.

Go Rhody!



Date Season
October 21, 2017 2017-2018


Charles River
2 Gerrys Landing Rd, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA