On Saturday, October 18th, the Harvard Law School crew raced in the 44th Head of the Charles Regatta, competing against over 60 club eights from around the country. Flying down the course in a blistering 17 minutes and 4 seconds, HLS shattered last year’s team course record by more than 25 seconds, handily beating the Harvard Business School by two and a half minutes, as well as besting crews from a number of schools, including the United States Naval Academy, the University of North Carolina, MIT, and Amherst.

The world’s largest two-day rowing event, the 2008 Head of the Charles attracted more than 7,500 athletes from the around the world and drew 300,000 spectators during the weekend. Pushed by a slight tailwind, the HLS crew exhibited grace under fire as it chased down opponents and propelled the boat past the finish line. Bowman Alain Goubeau ’10 reflected: “I could tell we got seriously hungry by the time we got around the Weeks footbridge. We plowed past our nearest competitor once we hit open water, and I could feel everybody emptying the tanks as we up-shifted to our fastest gear.”

On the water workouts included sprint and endurance rowing at high stroke ratings, four days a week at 6:30 a.m.

Andrew Klaber ’10 also attributed much of the crew’s success to the HLS administration. “I would characterize our crew’s portfolio of overall performance as strong to quite strong—a big thank you must go to Dean Kagan and Dean Cosgrove for their support of rowing at the law school.” With over 44 years of collective experience, the team was composed of former varsity rowers from undergraduate institutions like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, McGill, Williams, the University of Michigan, and Boston University. One oarsman even rowed with the Danish national team before coming to Harvard.

This year’s squad was comprised of Goubeau and co-Presidents Klaber and Kees Vandenberg ’09. In addition, six students from other Harvard graduate schools rounded out the crew: Aron Chang (GSD ’09), Dave Kang (HBS ’09), Benjamin Kramarz (HBS ’09), captain Joe Mihalic (HBS ’09), Doug Miller (GSD ’09), and Greg Wiles (HBS ’10). The team will return to the water in the spring to defend its 2008 1st-place finish at the International Graduate School Regatta.