Men’s Champ Singles, Schmid Joins Legendary Xeno Mueller as Swiss Champions

By Felippe Rodriquez – Posted on October 21, 2017

Michael Schmid became the first Swiss champion in the Head of the Charles men’s singles since Xeno Mueller in 1994, as he rowed a strong first mile Saturday, and held on to post a three-second victory over American John Graves. It was Graves’s third consecutive runner-up in the Head of the Charles championships singles.

“It was a really hard race. But with Bow #2, I could really row a good line,” said Schmid, who improved on his 4th place finish a year ago.

Graves also acknowledge the great race his opponent had. “Hats off to Michael, who was better then everyone today,” praised the American.

The Swiss sculler took the lead by the first check point at Riverside, and kept the pace through the whole three-mile course. Graves, who hoped to get his first win at the singles, did not like his steering.

“I was struggling to maintain a good line right on the first turn, where I saw myself zig-zagging,” Graves described the moment he saw Schmid close in on him. “And then I was moved [on] by him.”

Michael Schmid and Penn A.C.’s Lucas Wilhelm were among the most aggressive on the water. Wilhelm finished third, roughly 6 seconds behind the winner. Cambridge Boat Club member Andrew Campbell, starting with 16, moved up the board quickly, finishing 5th.

Schmid claims some good days of resting before the Head of the Charles helped him perform at his best. “With some holiday before the race I had a great tapering phase,” said the champion.

Graves believes he needed to be more aggressive if he had any chance of beating Schmid. The rowers passed the Cambridge with the Swiss 2.5 seconds in the lead.

“I think I started way too conservative, trying to save something for later,” said Graves. “And I tried to put a lot of energy on the last stretch, but Michael did a good job of keeping up with me. I gave it a good fight, but he was better than me today.”

All athletes enjoyed the sunny sky, flat Charles, and the race atmosphere between Cambridge and Boston. “It was an awesome race. Perfect weather and a lot of spectators along the river,” said Schmid.

Graves echoed similar sentiments. “The crowd amazing,” he said. “Hopefully I will be able to come back next year.”

The awards ceremony for the Men’s Singles Championship will be held at Attager Row Sunday afternoon at 4:30.