"Winning Head Races"

The One Guide

The Author

Carlo Zezza started rowing at age 14 in coxed fours, and two years later in an old, salvaged single.  His first long-distance effort was during undergraduate years at Harvard, where he gained a place in the "30 Minute Club", a 6.2km time trial to a bridge and back, rowed in a clinker-built wherry,  His time of 0:29:59 guaranteed his place, for eternity, as the slowest member of the club.  At Harvard, Carlo stroked freshman and varsity eights.


He resumed rowing in 1998, the year of his first head race, the Green Mountain Head in Putney, Vermont, where he finished 26th in the 55+ group.  The following year, Carlo rowed in his first Head Of The Charles® regatta, finishing 8th.  Pursuit of a win at the Head Of The Charles took four more years, ample time for reflection on paring seconds off the clock.


As of the close of 2018, participation in 54 head races, in the United States and in Europe, has earned 40 firsts, including 10 in singles competition at the Head Of The Charles.


Carlo's wife, Margarita, Latvian by birth, was World Champion in women's doubles in 1981, rowing for the Soviet Union.  Her Senior Master (age 40+) course record at the Head Of The Charles, set in 2003, still stands as of November 2018.  She also holds the Veteran I (age 60+) course record. Carlo and Margarita train together in singles, and combine to row in mixed double events.


Their home is in Newton, Massachusetts, 15 minutes from the Cambridge Boat Club.  A pair of singles are stored in France, for European regattas.


Comments and questions are welcome.



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