Rowing team sends single boat to Boston

The Owls placed 13th out of 40 boats in the largest event at the Head of Charles Regatta on Saturday in Boston.

One of the Owls’ two eight-person boats rows up the Schuylkill during practice on March 30 to prepare for April 1's race in New Jersey against Princeton University, Duquesne University and Drexel University. | SYDNEY SCHAEFER / TTN FILE PHOTO

Every year, a lottery system is held to compete in the Head of Charles Regatta in Boston.

Once selected, the only way to secure a spot and avoid the lottery for the following year’s competition is to finish in the top 50 percent of the previous year’s event. Last season, Temple placed 19th out of 39 schools in the Varsity 8.

Temple normally competes with five boats, but the Owls only sent their Varsity 8 to this year’s event, “the largest regatta in the world,” coach Rebecca Grzybowski said. The Owls finished 13th out of 40 boats.

“It definitely adds an interesting twist to the fall,” she said. “There are a lot of people here, and it is a unique and special experience as a rower to participate.”

Midway through the club eight race, the largest race of the day, a rower “caught a crab,” Grzybowski said, which is when a rower finishes a stroke but fails to extract the blade properly.

As a result, that particular rower’s blade stays stuck in the water then finishes over her body and parallel to the boat. The boat has to completely stop until it can be fixed.

“It’s really inconvenient,” Grzybowski said. “From a rhythm standpoint, it completely slows the boat down and hurts our maximum speed.”

“We weren’t fast enough today in general,” she added. “The crab played a small part, but that was not the only problem.”

Despite not finishing as well as they wanted, the Owls secured a spot for next year’s regatta.

Temple’s next event is the Head of the Schuylkill on Oct. 28.

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