Annika Dyczkowski ’25
The Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston hosts over 11,000 athletes at the world’s largest 3-day crew event. Last Sunday, Oct. 22, Trinity Women’s Rowing showcased themselves as some of the top performers at the 57th anniversary of the Charles. Competing against 35 schools in the Women’s Collegiate Eights, Trinity’s first varsity boat placed third. Captains Zoë Tiffin ’24 and Whitney Young ’25 dive into this experience, the team’s performance and looking forward after their commendable achievements.
The team left two nights before their race on Sunday, “the mental prep started far in advance”, says Young. The race begins near the BU Bridge and ends at the Eliot Bridge, rounding out the sharpest turns on the Charles River just west of Cambridge. Tiffin credits their adept navigation of the river to the team’s previous endeavors at the Charles, stating “almost everyone [in the 1v] has raced it multiple times, our ability to know the course is especially important.” The 1v, Trinity’s fastest and first varsity boat, was represented by captains Tiffin and Young, as well as Alley Johnson ’25, Valerie Casella ’25, Eleanor Burke ’26, Camille Schubert ’25, Tessa Griffin ’27, Allie Newman ‘26 and Julianna Boris ‘26. The team’s typical race days feature minimal spectators and quiet waters- but the Head of the Charles is no typical race.
“There were mass amounts of people on the [Eliot] bridge, the cheering and climate is pretty crazy and noise isn’t always the case at a lot of races”, explains Tiffin. The Charles Regatta consistently attracts around 300,000 spectators that span the length of the river many of them residing on Eliot bridge for an overlooking view of the final 500-meter stretch. Miranda Connolly ’26, who competed in the Women’s Varsity Four for Trinity, recalls the atmosphere as “feeling like you’re at a carnival.” Athletes and spectators alike travel from around the world for this regatta, so describing the crowd as lively feels like an understatement. “People were flying flags, people were screaming”, Connolly delineates, “you could hear so many people yelling, ‘go Trin!’” She recalls not knowing whether fans were alumni, friends, family or otherwise affiliated with Trinity, but rather that the cheering captured energy, excitement and a sense of community regardless.
In addition to fan energy, Tiffin expands on the team atmosphere. “Everyone wanted every boat to do well, and I think that’s something we’re good at as a team.” She continues, “No matter what, we’re still teammates, being proud of every person for their individual accomplishment is key to racing.” Young expresses the same sentiment, saying “we’re all really great friends, we’re with each other all day every day and everyone wants to see everyone succeed.” She expands on the team’s succession, “each boat is valued, and we want to see the program progress every year.”
Upon the 1v’s exceptional performance, both captains express a similar sentiment on looking forward as a team. “It shows that our hard work pays off, but now it’s time to really train and work hard to keep the momentum going.” Young shares a similar feeling, concluding that “we are so proud of ourselves, but we want more.” Both captains’ overarching message is that the entire team worked hard and performed well. For instance, the 2v boat in the same event finished 19th overall, and the Women’s Varsity Four finished 28th out of 38 competitors. Young recalls that the 2v this year placed almost exactly where their 1v placed two years ago, “seeing that progression in speed is really cool and important moving forward.” Tiffin highlights how “the whole team did well, not just the 1v”, she continues, emphasizing that “everyone should be proud of how they did.” The team concluded their fall season at Skidmore College on Saturday, Oct. 28, and anticipate using their accomplishments this semester as a foundation for success in the spring.