CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – The 55th Head of the Charles Regatta is set for this weekend as the world's top crew teams will gather on the banks of the Charles River. The two-day event is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19-20, with all four Harvard and Radcliffe varsity crews slated to compete.
What to Know
- Harvard and Radcliffe teams have won 46 Head of the Charles championships, a number that does not include student-athletes, coaches and alumni racing as individuals or representing their clubs and countries.
- A year ago, the Radcliffe lightweight crew team took first in the Championship Four race, finishing in 20:07.050, and came in fifth place in the Championship Eight event (19:11.616). Harvard, meanwhile, posted sixth-place efforts in the Lightweight Four (18:26.620) and Eight (16:14.324) races, respectively.
- On the heavyweight side, Harvard registered a fifth-place performance in the Championship Eight competition (15:11.562) and took home gold in the Club Eight (14:46.851). Radcliffe had its best showing in the Championship Four race, placing 11th (21:00.074).
- The Head of the Charles course starts at the Boston University Boathouse and runs approximately three miles upstream, past the Harvard University campus. The route goes under the combination of a railroad trestle bridge near BU, the BU bridge and five triple-arching bridges on its way to the finish line.
About Head of the Charles
Since its origin in 1965, the Head of the Charles Regatta has welcomed the world's best crews to the banks of the Charles River for the ultimate two-day rowing competition. Founders and Cambridge Boat Club members D'Arcy MacMahon, Howard McIntyre and Jack Vincent, created the Regatta on the advice of Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest Arlett. Arlett proposed a "head of the river" race (similar in tradition to races held in his native England) be held on the Charles River. "Head" races are a class of regattas generally three miles in length. Boats compete against one another and the clock, which starts sequentially, approximately fifteen seconds apart. Winners of each race receive the honorary title "Head of the River" or, in this case, "Head of The Charles". Over 11,000 athletes, 400,000 spectators and 1,400 volunteers will take to the Charles River and its shores for the event. The first event featured around 100 competitors and has grown to 55 events at this year's HOCR.
The Harvard and Radcliffe lightweight crew teams return to action on Oct. 27, for the Princeton Chase on Lake Carnegie, while the Harvard heavyweight team resumes its fall slate on Nov. 9, for its Pairs Race on the Charles River. Radcliffe heavyweight crew, meanwhile, will not be on the water until Nov. 17, for the Foot of the Charles regatta.