It was another successful year for the Oakland Strokes youth rowing club at the Head of the Charles fall rowing classic in Boston, coming away with a third and a fifth place in the Youth Women’s and Youth Men’s V8+ and with both teams breaking previous course records.
Attracting Olympians, world champions and international athletes of all ages, the Head Of The Charles® Regatta is the world’s largest two-day rowing event with over than 11,000 athletes from around the world competing.
Against stiff competition from 85 of the top high school rowing teams from North America and the UK, the athletes once again demonstrated the strength of the Oakland Strokes program.
The women's team put on a powerful display to capture the bronze medal, navigating the winding 3 mile course to post a time of 16.35.5, beating the previous course record by an impressive fourteen seconds.
Their Head Coach, Allison Dobb Ray, noted: "Achieving a top 3 finish in such a competitive field with the top five crews beating the previous course record is an outstanding achievement. The result was fantastic, but it's how we achieved it that is most fulfilling. How hard the V8+ trained, how focused they remained despite the air quality limiting the final weeks of practice, and how bought in they were to the process is what we are most proud of."
L-R Kate Miles (8 - Campolindo HS) Martha Yates (7- Acalanes HS), Amanda Alessandria (6 - Campolindo HS), Bridget O’Kelly (5- College Preparatory School), Caroline Ricksen (coxswain - Miramonte HS), Lilly Mei (Dougherty Valley High School), Anna Elmgren (Oakland Tech. HS), Sarah Coufal (2- Miramonte HS), Caroline Birdsall (1 - San Ramon Valley HS). Photo credit: Renata Sos.
The quality of the competition and excellent course conditions were also on show in the Men’s Varsity 8+ competition, where the Oakland Strokes men gained fifth place, again beating the previous course record.
"The boys rowed a solid race, three seconds under the previous record. Unfortunately, on Sunday you had to go 35 seconds under the record to win. With three of last year's winners aboard it was a disappointing result, but we know that it's early in the year and there is plenty of work left to be done. We are looking forward to improving our speed through the rest of the fall and preparing ourselves well for a productive winter." said Men's Head Coach Brian de Regt.
L-R Jack Woll (1- College Preparatory School), Richard Reid (2- SJND), Andrew Simpson (3- Berkeley High), Cameron Kumagai (4- Acalanes HS) Audrey Gates (Coxswain - Miramonte HS), John Mark Ozaeta (5- Miramonte HS), Spencer Dettlinger (6- San Ramon Valley HS), Noah Kim (7- Independent Charter High School), Kai Hoite (8 - Berkeley HS) Photo credit: Courtney Dettlinger