Two residents of Garden Street will be among those rowing in this weekend’s Head of the Charles Regatta.
Kirsten Thiim, age 23, will be participating in the competition, which is the world’s largest two-day rowing event, for the eighth time. She will be rowing Saturday in the Women’s Alumnae Eights for Bare Hill Rowing, the program for the high school she graduated from in 2016. After high school, Thiim rowed for Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., before graduating last year.
Describing the Head of the Charles as “definitely my favorite regatta to race in,” Thiim wrote in an email, “There is nothing like being on the Charles River with thousands of people cheering you on along the whole course in your home city; it’s such a fun and motivating environment.”
Thiim started rowing as a freshman in high school, following in her older brother’s footsteps after she was introduced to the sport as a spectator during his regattas. “I tried it out and took to the sport fast,” she said.
Since the spring rowing season during her senior year in college was scrapped due to the pandemic, Thiim is eager to get back in the water, as well as to represent her former high school rowing program alongside her former teammates.
“Rowing at HOCR this year will be different than any other since it will be my first time rowing as an alumna,” wrote Thiim. “I am so excited to get back in a boat and have this opportunity to row after graduating, something I wasn’t sure I would ever do.
Unlike Thiim, her neighbor on Garden Street, Andrew Bittner, a 16-year-old sophomore at the Belmont Hill School, is a newcomer to the Head of the Charles who will compete Sunday in the Men’s Youth Fours. “We have a large rowing team at Belmont Hill and making one of the boats to row in the HOCR has been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” wrote Bittner, who began rowing as a seventh-grader at Belmont Hill. “Despite a lost season and limited training due to COVID restrictions, I have worked really hard and am very excited to have this opportunity to row in the Four this year