Arguably the biggest and most iconic event in Boston in the fall, The Head of the Charles Regatta is highly anticipated each year. This year marks the 53rd year of the event and is bound to be a great one. If you’re a fan of rowing, the midst of planning a trip to Boston or are simply curious as to what all the commotion is about, we’ve got the answer to all of your questions!
Head of the Charles Regatta – A Primer
What is a Regatta?
Put very simply; a Regatta is a sporting event that is comprised of a series of boat or yacht races.
What Makes The Head of The Charles Unique?
Known as HOCR, it’s the largest two-day regatta in the world. Over the course of the two days, 11,000 athletes row in over 1,900 boats in 61 different events. The Head of the Charles is unique not only in that it’s the biggest, but also that it’s more than rowing, it’s an entire festival.
Why Should You Attend?
Three main reasons combine to make attending this event quite compelling:
- The spectacular New England Fall in its prime
- The excitement of America’s oldest universities going head to head
- The chance to experience all of Boston coming together for two-days
Truly, if you’ve never been to a regatta, this is the creme de la creme of them all!
For Best Viewing Head to…
You can watch nearly anywhere along the banks of the river, but for the best viewing, find a bridge or a boathouse. The races begin on either side of the Boston University Bridge near the Boston University’s Dewolfe Boathouse. This is a great spot to snap some photos of the rowers before they’re exhausted, plus the Boston skyline is the backdrop.
Other Activities For Your Enjoyment:
- Rowing and Fitness Expo which features food, vendors, demonstrations and more
- Weld Exhibition
- Reunion Village – Dining tent with food, there is an entrance fee
One of the most entertaining parts of a regatta are the funny words you won’t hear anywhere else. Be in the know:
- Coxswain – The oarless-crew member who is responsible for steering and race commands. The coxswain either sits in the stern or lies in the bow of the boat.
- Sculler – A rower who sculls; rows with two oars.
- Stroke Seat – The rower closest to the stern of the boat who’s responsible for the stroke rate and rhythm.
How Long is Each Race?
Each race is nearly three miles long.
How Many People Attend This Event?
Tens of thousands! Every single year.
Where and When Does The Event Take Place?
HOCR always takes place on The Charles River, which separates Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts on the complete penultimate weekend of October, meaning the second to last weekend. This year the dates are Saturday, October 21 – Sunday, October 22, 2017.
For Further Questions…
All of the information you need and want is found on the event’s website, www.hocr.org
The Ultimate Weekend Experience Awaits At…
Unless you already reside in Boston, you will need somewhere to stay! As a general rule, any trip to Boston is greatly enhanced with centrally located accommodations. Boston is one of the few U.S. cities that is built for walking and taking public transit, and it’s really fun to take advantage of that! Book your stay at Copley Square Hotel, located in the extremely central and historical Copley Square in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, just minutes from the Charles River.