Anne M. Steele | Oct. 19, 2013 | Head of the Charles Regatta
The eight women bring their oars from the uncharacteristically warm mid-October afternoon sun into the boathouse where the breeze from the water swirls the twang of wood and sweat with smell of old brick. Their coxswain chats with the coach and keeps a steady eye on the shell.
These nine women, pioneers of the first women’s crew team at Notre Dame, have just completed their fourth and final practice together two days before rowing in the master’s 50-plus race at the Head of the Charles Regatta.
Stepping from a shiny, state-of-the art sweep boat into the Radcliffe boathouse perched on the lip of the muddy but revered river, the scenario is a far cry from what marked their early days at Notre Dame more than 30 years ago — waking up at 4 a.m. to push start their 1950s bus to get it to the boathouse.