Craftsbury, Cambridge win at Head of the Charles

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) The Vermont-based Craftsbury Sculling Center won the men's eights Sunday in the Head of the Charles Regatta and the Cambridge Boat Club took the women's race.

Both of the winning boats were ''Great Eights'' made up rowers whose primary experience is in single sculls or doubles, as opposed to sweepers, accustomed to rowing as part of an eight-person team.

Craftsbury, featuring world doubles champs Valentin and Martin Sinkovic of Croatia and Olympic singles gold medalist Mahe Drysdale of New Zealand, beat an all-star boat of Olympic and world medalists representing the London-based Taurus Boat Club by just over 3 seconds in 14 minutes, 20.24 seconds. Harvard was third.

''I thought our best rowing was the last couple minutes of the race,'' American John Graves said about the winning Craftsbury entry. ''We really accelerated to the line.''

He also credited coxswain Peter Weirsum with ''nailing the course all week.''

The twisting 3-mile upstream Charles River course passes under several bridges.

''We knew coming off the water we had done a good job and if they were faster, they were faster,'' Drysdale said. ''The result went our way.''

The Cambridge BC's ''Great Eight'' of star scullers cruised to victory in the women's race, beating an entry from U.S. Rowing by 20 seconds in 15:44.80.

Gevvie Stone, from Newton, led the Cambridge team after winning the singles Saturday. She served as stroke for the Sunday in the team that featured Olympic singles gold medalist Mirka Knapkova of the Czech Republic and two-time Olympic medalist Kim Crow of Australia.

''Erin (Driscoll) steered a perfect course,'' said Stone said about the coxswain. ''She nailed every single turn. The power behind me in the boat was extraordinary. When Erin asked for something, the boat did it.''

The Michigan Rowing Association won the collegiate men's eights, and Bates College took the women's race.

The Camp Randall Rowing Club of Madison, Wisconsin, won the men's fours, and U.S. Rowing finished first and second in the women's fours.

Also, the London (Ontario) Training Center won the men's lightweight fours, and Princeton took the women's race.

In the lightweight eights, Princeton took the men's field, and the Minerva Rowing Club won the women's race.

Hugh Mcadam of Craftsbury took the men's lightweight singles, and Caitlin Paul of Canada's Ridley Graduate BC won the women's race.

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