Boston / Cambridge, Massachusetts|
October 20, 2012
22 year-old Kjetil Borch woke up this morning looking forward to burning some gunpowder at today’s 48th Head of the Charles® regatta.
And burn it he did, coming through the pack from the 27th and last starting position to win the Men’s Championship Single event over other international stars.
Borch covered the 4,800-meter course in 17:56.53 – almost six seconds faster than Sweden’s long-time sculling ace Lassi Karonen (4th place) and 29 seconds faster than London 2012 single-scull gold medalist Mahé Drysdale of New Zealand (9th).
Borch rowed in a borrowed Fluidesign single. “The boat had won two prior HOCR races, so I guess it’s a pretty good boat”, he said before the race.
Borch’s mentor and three-time Olympic medalist Olaf Tufte also earned today’s top honors, teaming with off-water friend and on-water rival Iztok Cop of Slovenia to win the Men’s Championship Double.
Tufte and Cop covered the course in 16:12.64, far ahead of fellow Olympians Alan Campbell of Great Britain and Aleksander Aleksandrov of Azerbaijan (15 seconds behind in 3rd place) and Marcel Hacker of Germany and Glenn Ochal of USA (21 seconds back in 4th).
Tufte said, “Iztok steered a perfect line for us through all five turns and seven bridges. Coming under the Eliot Street Bridge with 80 strokes to go we were fighting for position with three other crews. With my friend at bow, I never had a doubt.”
Tufte and Cop join other Olympic single-scullers tomorrow, rowing in the Championship Eight race as “The Great Eight”. Borch will cheer them on, perhaps thinking of the great story he can tell his grandchildren some day about his first trip to America.
On Monday, Olaf Tufte and Kjetil Borch fly west to Coos Bay, Oregon to visit their manager, see the sights, and conduct business and train. They are scheduled to speak to the men and women’s rowing squads of Oregon State University, and to be the featured guests at a banquet at Portland’s Arlington Club. Following a private tour of Nike’s world headquarters at Beaverton, they will return to Coos Bay for training on the sand dunes and at South Tenmile Lake.
© 2012 Donald O. Costello and Better Angel Rowing Endeavors, LLC. All rights reserved.
Donald O. Costello is manager and general counsel for Olaf K. Tufte and Kjetil Borch. He lives in Coos Bay, Oregon and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.