CBC sisters, Mia Khamish (Duke University Sophomore) and Izzy Khamish (Staples High School Junior) both won gold medals at the 2023 Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston, Massachusetts. The Head of the Charles is the largest regatta in the world and it is a complete obstacle course for all competitors. Both Mia and Izzy are coxswains (the position in the boat that steers and gives the crew instruction) in their respective programs but both athletes have been a product of Connecticut Boat Club and the coaching/mentorship of Liz Trond.
On Saturday October 22nd Mia Khamish and her Duke 4+ crew crossed the finish line with a time of 17:46 (winning the race!). Her boat finished with a very large gap of 15 seconds ahead of silver medalist, Radcliffe and 27 seconds ahead of bronze medalist UPenn. Mia shared her thoughts, “The moment after the race finished I knew we had a really strong race because we passed about 10 boats, but I didn’t know we had won. I kind of gave my boat a little talk before going in to the dock assuring them that no matter the result, that we had done well and I was proud of them.” Coach Wendy was the one to share the first place news with the Duke Champ 4+ and their reaction was of utter shock and happiness. Additionally, they found out that they had set the new course record in the Women’s Club Four category which is an incredible asset in addition to winning a first place gold medal.
Mia had only raced the prestigious Head of the Charles regatta once before. She raced the course her senior year with Connecticut Boat Club where her boat started 17th and finished in 6th place. This time around with Duke University her Sophomore year she started bow 25th, passed roughly 10 boats to finish in first place. Following in her sisters Saturday success, younger sister Izzy Khamish took on the challenging course on Sunday October 23rd. Mia knew what an important race this would be for her sister so she decided to stay an extra day to watch her race. Mia stated, “Oh my gosh it was so cool to stay and watch Izzy. I remember asking my mom (Rimma Khamish) if it would be okay to stay another day because I knew they had a chance of winning the race and I wanted to be there to watch it. I was honestly so much more nervous for her race then my race.” Izzy Khamish is one of the Varsity Coxswains at CBC, she steered the perfect Head of the Charles course and led her Youth Women’s 4+ to a first place victory. The four rowers in Izzy’s boat raced this race/same line up last year and placed 4th place. This year in Izzy’s second time racing The Charles she earned her way into CBC’s top boat as the new addition. Izzy shared, “Winning The Charles is incredible! It was great to see our dedicated efforts pay off. I recognize that winning The Charles is a once in a lifetime experience, and doing so in high school with CBC is very special!” Izzy added her opinion on the standout moment in the race for her, “I would say near the end on the turn before the Elliot Bridge. We had overtaken bow numbers 2 and 3 and had secured in the inside line on all turns. taking the turn tight into Elliot while calling that we were closing in on bow 1 and our average split getting faster was an exhilarating feeling. I knew we had a very possible chance of winning if we went for it in the last mile.” Izzy’s boat finished with a time of 19:12 after starting fourth. Second place medalist, Greenwich Crew finished with a time of 19:26 and third place finisher, Phillips Exeter finished with a time of 19:31.
Mia raced against 50 crews in the Women’s Club Fours event and Izzy raced against 90 crews in the Women’s Youth Fours event. Mia stated with excitement, “I mean I don’t know two sisters in two different boat categories winning the Charles the same year, so I guess it adds to our life motto of ‘we don’t lose’.” It truly is a time to celebrate for both boats, their families who support through all of the season ups and downs, and all of the teammates because it truly takes a village to win at this level!
HUGE congratulations to CBC superstars, Izzy and Mia! We are so proud of you and cannot wait for next year, we vote for a 2 peat!