Looking ahead to this weekend's Head of the Charles regatta, there is one boat competing that may not be the fastest, but does have the most experience — in a sense.

Community Rowing's "Octogenarian Eight" features eight rowers and a coxswain who are all in their 80s, or very nearly there.

"I never dreamed I would row in the Head of the Charles," said 82-year-old Lee Warren of Newton, who started rowing 10 years ago. "It was never anything I aspired to. So here we are."

Warren says she keeps active to stay in shape. "You know, there are assumptions about old people that they're old and creaky. Some are old and creaky. But the lucky ones are still going strong," she said.

The team's coxswain is 86-year-old Bill Becklean, who won an Olympic gold medal in the sport in 1956.

"This boat felt good this morning, we had some good rows," Becklean said after a training row this week. "It's not the fastest boat I've ever been in, but rowing is rowing. You're out there, you're moving on the water, beautiful sunny day, flat water. What's life all about? That's wonderful."

The Octogenarian Eight will compete in the Head of the Charles "Director's Challenge" race on Sunday afternoon.