A four-man team representing the University of St. Thomas Crew Club placed sixth out of 66 teams in the 1999 Head of the Charles Regatta held Oct. 23 and 24 on the Charles River in Boston.

The regatta is the world’s largest and is considered something of the World Series of rowing. This year’s event attracted more than 5,500 competitors from more than 650 clubs, including 40 international crews.

The St. Thomas team, which began training for the Charles in early August, includes UST senior Craig Dodson and sophomore Nathan Lundell. Dodson is president of the St. Thomas Crew Club; at last year’s Charles his team finished 20th of 59. This was Lundell’s first visit to the annual Boston event.

Also rowing for the St. Thomas team were Scott Shinnenman, a student at Macalester, and Scott Clasen, who attends Gustavus. Although they do not attend St. Thomas, they both are members of the UST club. It also was the first appearance at the Head of the Charles for both.

The coxswain (the person who steers the shell and helps determine race strategy) for the St. Thomas team this year was UST sophomore Brenda Dalman. “She steered a better course than nearly every other coxswain there,” Dodson said. “Her accomplishment is as great as the rowers in the sense that the course is very difficult to steer and the Head of the Charles is sometimes referred to as much of a coxswain’s race as it is a rower’s race.”

Finishing anywhere near the top of the Charles puts a team in elite company. St. Thomas, for example, just edged seventh-place California State University at Long Beach, and generally clobbered many well-known club teams, including Wheaton, Kansas University, Milwaukee Rowing Club, Wharton, the University of Minnesota, St. Lawrence University, Augusta State, Wesleyan, Penn State, Ohio State, Yale, Brandeis, and Notre Dame, which finished 64th.