Men’s Championship Singles

Drysdale Prevails Over Graves and Campbell

Mahe Drysdale leads Andrew Campbell through the Eliot Bridge.

By Scotty Schenck – Posted on October 18, 2015

The riverside thundered as competitors in the championship men’s singles race passed the Eliot Bridge on Saturday afternoon, but one’s man’s voice stood out.

“Mahé!” he cried.

Five-time world rowing and 2012 Olympic champion Mahé Drysdale, starting in bow position two, passed defending champion Andrew Campbell near the race’s halfway point at Weeks Bridge He came through the Eliot Bridge with two lengths of open water on Campbell, the local favorite, and the large crowd on the bridge saluted the popular New Zealander when it became clear he would win.

The win was the third Head Of The Charles triumph for Drysdale, who also won here in 2005 and 2011.

“It’s nice to win,” Drysdale said. “It was a long race, it’s always a tough race because you never know how you’re doing. It was nice to have Andy Campbell in front of me as a gauge. If I passed him I knew I did well.”

Drysdale finished in 18:11, 10 seconds ahead of John Graves, who suffered a five-second penalty for missing a buoy. Drysdale finished also 14 seconds had of Andrew Campbell, who won the Regatta last year in a course record at 17:11.

Though he passed Campbell, with John Graves only 300 to 400 meters behind him, Drysdale was unsure of whether he had maintained his lead on the Vermonter. He kept this in his mind while he raced.

“I knew that John Graves did well but you don’t know until you see the times whether you won or not,” he said. Graves had caught up considerably, but it wasn’t enough.

Though conditions were tough, a 15-mile-per-hour win gusting to 25, Drysdale felt the day played to his strengths.

“It was a strong head wind but to be honest I kind of like a head wind,” said the 6-foot-7, 220-pound Drysdale. “I’ve always struggled on this course to steer. It’s a very twisty winding course so I have always struggled to do well.”

He said that he heard the support from the sidelines.

“It’s been great. I love Boston and I’ve been here a lot and I always have a lot of support,” Mahé said.

Drysdale now turns his attention to preparing for the Olympics in Rio, which may be his last. Though he will continue to row, he said it is still up in the air whether he’ll continue to row competitively for another four years.

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