Cambridge’s Head of the Charles – The Olympics of Rowing

HOC 2010 ©

HOC 2010 ©

The 46th Head of the Charles Regatta is taking place this coming weekend in Cambridge, October 23rd and 24th. Though it seems as though it is only an event for super rowing fans it is more in line with something like the Olympics or even the Boston Marathon.  Last year we took footage and pictures around the Charles River course which was buzzing with all sorts of spectators on both the Boston and Cambridge sides of the river.

The annual even that is put on by the Cambridge Boat Club now estimates participants at over 8000 athletes with spectators in the 300,000 range.  This Cambridge-Boston Event is the world’s largest 2 Day rowing event with 55 different race events.  The schedule of which is available on the Head of the Charles Regatta website.

Last year we included some videos of the women’s race from 2008 from the view of the Coxswain and I still recommend viewing them to experience the Head of the Charles via video.  It really gives you a perspective of what it must be like to row this historic course.

The race is more than just a rowing event it is a major attraction and event in the Cambridge and Boston areas.  It pulls spectators from all over the state and all over the world.  Participants represent both universities/colleges and boat clubs.  As I was filming some of the Alumni Eights race for men they mentioned Italy, the Netherlands and Japan which was pretty amazing.  Of note for those needing a break the Reunion Village offers refreshments and color commentary of the race from $3 to $5 from Saturday 8am to 5pm and Sunday 8am to 4pm.  This is located at the halfway point of the race on the Boston side of the Charles River.  Another good spot to view the race is the Finish Line near the Artesani Playground in Brighton.

As is usual for these type of events public transportation is advised.  I would also say to dress in layers.  There have been times when the conditions were beautiful last year to wet snow.  Currently the forecast is for the Sunny and nice on Saturday to the same with a chance of showers on Sunday.

If you want to keep track of the races, last year the Regatta had Twitter updates on the winners as they were happening.  You also have the option of seeing highlights of the Regatta on Comcast Sportsnet at 9pm on Sunday or via on demand.  There is a lot to cover on the course so that may be a good way to wrap up the event even if you go.

I plan to add a page of videos from last year…

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