Regatta a different challenge for rowers - Metro US

Regatta a different challenge for rowers

When you think about it, Mahe Drysdale makes a pretty good point.

Even by the brutally tough standards of competitive rowing, the Head of the Charles Regatta is really, really tough.

Take Drysdale, a multiple-time world champion and 2008 Olympic bronze medalist in the single scull race.

A New Zealander, he’s used to training on open lake water for the typical international distance of two kilometers. His world record over that length of race is 6:33.35.

On the Charles this weekend, Drysdale will be faced with a bending, turning course featuring six bridges — most unlike a lake. And rather than two kilometers, he’ll be rowing some three miles — nearly five kilometers.

“It’s a different sort of challenge,” said Drysdale, who will be racing in Saturday’s championship singles and Sunday’s directors’ challenge quads. “It’s always worthwhile.”

For an elite racer like Drysdale, the Regatta isn’t the be-all, end-all of a season — that’s either the world championships or the Olympics, depending on the year.

But that doesn’t stop him from coming to Boston time after time, even if it means a lengthy flight and using a borrowed boat for the week.

“I love the city,”?Drysdale said. “The people are extremely friendly. Every time we come here, we always have a really good time. It’s a beautiful place — if you ever manage to row on the Charles, you know how beautiful it is.”

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