Brigid Kennedy '21.

Brigid Kennedy ’21 prepares for a practice row before her participation in the first-ever virtual Head of the Charles Regatta, which begins today.

Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

Going head to head

2 min read

Kennedy feels heat of competition in virtual Head of the Charles Regatta

A virtual Head of the Charles Regatta (HOCR) is marking yet another “first-ever” for 2020. From Oct. 9-17, rowers from around the world have a choice of competing on open water or a rowing machine. They submit their times remotely to determine order of finish.

“For the HOCR, I have the great honor to race current and former Olympic champions, so I don’t anticipate getting a top place, but it’ll be fantastic to race side by side with some of the fastest women in the entire country,” said Brigid Kennedy ’21 of East Greenwich, R.I.

Kennedy is a member of the Harvard varsity lightweight rowing team and has rowed single lightweight scull for the past four years with the Under 23 National Team.

“In racing shells we have a GPS monitor that records distance, time, and strokes per minute so you can monitor your pace and how fast you’re going,” she explained.

“Being able to row the HOCR is huge, because we’ve been running scrimmages on the river weekly, hosted by the Riverside Boat Club where I’m a member,” she said. “So we actually row down the course in nearly 100 single boats, which is fantastic. It’s been a real privilege to get back to racing because I know not everyone’s had that opportunity yet.

“Over the summer my home boat club in Narragansett ran virtual races, and while different, just to be able to have some kind of racing, was great,” she said. “Racing is what makes those early, cold mornings and hard practices worthwhile. Because I’m on the Charles and doing scrimmages I get to be side by side with other people, and that’s super fun.”