Callum Borchers' Blog

Sociologically significant sports (and class assignments)

Teen travels from Ottawa for first Head of the Charles

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The Head of the Charles’ magnetism is well-established—schools, clubs and individual rowers travel tremendous distances to participate in the world’s largest two-day regatta—but every year, novice participants discover the event’s appeal for the first time.

This weekend, one such newcomer is 17-year-old Alexander Munro, whose Ottawa Rowing Club crew will compete in Sunday’s youth men’s eight race.

“This regatta is historically a very competitive regatta, so we’re looking forward to that,” Munro said Friday afternoon, while helping to rig a four boat. “A lot of tough competition, which is harder to find at home. Typically, we have to go to larger areas, like St. Catherines, [Ontario], where they have a big event. So, for us, [the Head of the Charles] is a very special event.”

Alexander Munro is a Head of the Charles rookie but comes to Cambridge with an appreciation of the regatta's history.

Munro took up rowing only last year, joining his high school team and, later, the Ottawa Rowing Club. Before stepping into a shell, though, he was already an experienced endurance athlete, competing in cross country running and skiing.

As he worked on the boat, Munro stressed the importance of bolting on the riggers tightly. He hasn’t been on the water long, but he’s learned that trying to tighten a bolt mid-race is one challenge to avoid—especially during a race of this magnitude.

“Some races, it’ll be merciful, base racing. But not so much in head racing,” Munro said. “No mercy.”

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Written by callumborchers

October 24, 2010 at 8:06 pm

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