Exeter crew medals at historic Head of the Charles

Big Red crew sends three boats to famed Head of the Charles Regatta.

Brian Muldoon
October 24, 2023

Exeter crew conquered the famed Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston over the weekend, sending three Big Red boats through the twists and turns of the Charles River. A three-day event, the Head of the Charles is the largest regatta in the world, attracting more than 11,000 athletes and thousands of spectators who line the banks with energy and fervor.

“It was terrific to see Exeter field three crews in this huge and popular event, attended by top athletes from the U.S. and abroad,” said coach Greg Spanier. “Our athletes, with a wide range of histories, rowing-wise, trained hard and showed a strong desire to improve their skills and fitness every day.”

The women’s youth 4+ boat of Jane Park ’24, Eden Fisher ’24, Athena Sperantsas ’24, Ava Cathey ’25 and Sophie Turner ’25 delivered a terrific performance, earning a medal with a third-place overall finish in a time of 19:31.934 among a field of 90 boats.

The women’s youth 8+ boat of Victoria Mabardy ’25, Evie Gaylord ’25, Sophia Slosek ’25, Nora Unger ’26, Amelia Post ’26, Chloe Bosma ’26, Bea Prairie ’25, Melissa Yuan ’24 and Kaitlyn Farkas ’26 paced the course in 19:43.965 to finish 56th overall. The men’s youth 4+ of Arian Khichadia ’25, Rohan Radhakeesoon ’24, Mason Cotter ’25, Michael Goodall ’24 and Rohit Kantamneni ’25 made it through the curvy course with a time of 18:24.442 to claim 50th place overall. 

The women’s youth 4+ boat held the lead for more than half the race and were impeded while on the water, forcing them to stop and get separated by the passing boat. The aggressive, meandering course often causes close quarters on the water, and crews who do no yield when being passed are penalized, thus forcing the Big Red boat to pause. An otherwise outstanding performance placed them on the podium. This is the third straight year an Exeter girls 4+ boat has earned a top-five finish at the Head of the Charles. The crew of Jacqueline Luque ‘22, Fisher, Jamie Reidy ‘24, Matilda Damon ‘23 and Charlotte Pulkkinen ’22 claimed second place in 2021; Gracie Keyt ‘23, Fisher, Sperantsas, Damon, and Reidy teamed up for a fifth-place finish in 2022.

“In addition to the athletes themselves, much credit for the success of our program should go to Coach Morris, Coach Moore and Coach Cathey, who have instilled such magnificent skills, spirit and expertise into this particularly successful and competitive group of five athletes," Spanier said. "Also acknowledged should be the all other coaches in our program for their work with the supporting all of our teams on the water, whose abilities and team spirit form the foundation of the program. Also, Mr. Burnham, who in his role as Boathouse Manager, maintains our access to top-class equipment and who is always willing to make timely repairs and adjustments, often in difficult circumstances and at very short notice.”