More than 11,000 athletes representing 23 countries around the world will converge in Boston this weekend for the 54th Head of the Charles Regatta. One of the world’s premier rowing competitions, the annual event featuring top college crew programs and some of the best rowers in the world is set to begin on Saturday and will feature 66 different events.
The US women’s national team headlines the field after winning the recent 2018 World Rowing Championship in Bulgaria. Combined with the men’s team, the US took home 10 medals, including three golds. The German national teams will provide stiff competition for the Americans, with the men’s side having won consecutive World Rowing Championship titles.
Numerous Olympic medalists and will compete in the Championship Single races, with eight-time Head of the Charles winner and 2016 Olympic silver medalist Gevvie Stone of Newton pacing the women’s competition. Men’s Single world record holder Robbie Mason of New Zealand will set the pace in the men’s event, with countryman Mahe Drysdale expected to push him for the title.
Here’s a guide to the event:
Dates: Oct. 20-21
Times: The Saturday races run from 7:45 a.m. to 4:32 p.m. The Sunday races run from 7:45 a.m. to 3:47 p.m. The full race schedule is below.
The course: The start line is at the Boston University Boathouse. The finish line is near Herter Park. The course is 3 miles and runs upstream. It takes about an hour to walk. Here is a course map for competitors and a course map for spectators.
Award ceremonies: All award ceremonies will be held at Attager Row, located just before the finish line. Ceremonies will be held following the races at 5 p.m.
Race results: The results board will be located outside Attager Row. Results can also be found here.
Where to watch: The six bridges along the course are great places to take in the action. The BU Bridge, the River Street Bridge, Western Avenue Bridge, Weeks Bridge, Anderson Bridge, and Eliot Bridge all have great views. Anywhere along the river bank also makes for good views.
Full race schedule
Saturday, Oct. 20 (subject to change)
7:45 a.m.: Men’s senior veteran singles I and II [70+]
8:05 a.m.: Women’s veteran I/II and senior veteran I/II singles [60-69, 70+]
8:37 a.m.: Men’s veteran singles I and II [60+]
9:03 a.m.: Men’s grand master singles [50+]
9:22 a.m.: Women’s grand master singles [50+]
9:45 a.m.: Men’s senior master eights [50+]
10:05 a.m.: Women’s senior master eights [50+]
10:22 a.m.: Men’s senior master fours [50+]
10:39 a.m.: Women’s senior master fours [50+]
11:03 a.m.: Men’s master doubles [40+]
11:12 a.m.: Men’s senior master doubles [50+]
11:32 a.m.: Women’s master doubles [40+]
11:42 a.m.: Women’s senior master doubles [50+]
11:59 a.m.: Men’s master singles [30+]
12:11 p.m.: Men’s senior master singles [40+]
12:23 p.m.: Women’s master singles [30+]
12:33 p.m.: Women’s senior master singles [40+]
12:51 p.m.: Men’s alumni eights
1:10 p.m.: Women’s alumni eights
1:29 p.m.: Men’s club fours
1:49 p.m.: Women’s club fours
2:15 p.m.: Men’s club eights
2:29 p.m.: Women’s club eights
2:47 p.m.: Men’s master fours [40+]
2:59 p.m.: Women’s master fours [40+]
3:16 p.m.: Men’s master eights [40+]
3:27 p.m.: Women’s master eights [40+]
3:41 p.m.: Men’s championship doubles
3:50 p.m.: Women’s championship doubles
4:01 p.m.: Men’s championship singles; Men’s lightweight singles
4:15 p.m.: Women’s championship singles; Women’s lightweight singles
4:32 p.m.: Mixed legs/trunks/arms fours; Mixed inclusion 4+
Sunday, Oct. 21 (subject to change)
7:45 a.m.: Mixed inclusion 2x; Trunk/arms doubles
8:08 a.m.: Men’s youth singles
8:23 a.m.: Men’s club singles
8:39 a.m.: Women’s youth singles
8:51 a.m.: Women’s club singles
9:08 a.m.: Women’s youth fours
9:44 a.m.: Directors’ challenge women’s quads
10:02 a.m.: Women’s youth coxed quad
10:20 a.m.: Women’s youth eights
10:53 a.m.: Director’s challenge mixed doubles
11:15 a.m: Men’s youth doubles
11:30 a.m.: Women’s youth doubles
11:50 a.m.: Men’s youth fours
12:25 p.m.: Director’s challenge men’s quads
12:41 p.m.: Men’s youth coxed quad
12:58 p.m.: Men’s youth eights
1:27 p.m.: Men’s championship fours; Men’s lightweight fours
1:39 p.m.: Women’s championship fours; Women’s lightweight fours
1:54 p.m.: Men’s championship eights; Men’s lightweight eights
2:09 p.m.: Men’s collegiate eights
2:24 p.m.: Women’s championship eights; Women’s lightweight eights
2:41 p.m.: Women’s collegiate eights
2:54 p.m.: Men’s collegiate fours
3:08 p.m.: Women’s collegiate fours
3:25 p.m.: Director’s challenge parent/child doubles
3:47 p.m.: Director’s challenge mixed eight
The regatta provides complimentary shuttle bus services throughout the course. The shuttles start running Friday at noon and will be making stops every 20 minutes until 7 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday the shuttles will run from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will be stopping every 15 minutes.
Race course shuttle: Will stop at the singles and doubles launch site, Lars Anderson Bridge (Boston side), Cambridge Boat Club, and the Finish Area launch site.
Birmingham Parkway shuttle: Will be running from the parking area on Birmingham Parkway to the Finish Area launch site.
Using public transportation is highly recommended since parking in limited; but if public transportation is out of the question here is where you can park.
Birmingham Parkway: Free, on-street parking is available. The parkway runs next to I-90 and is accessible from Market Street off of Soldiers Field Road or from Soldiers Field Road and Route 20 intersection near Community Rowing. The lots are available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. There is no parking after 6 p.m.
Alewife T Station: Garage parking for 2,733 cars and Red Line T service to Harvard Square accessible from Route 2 off I-95. From Harvard Square, it’s a short walk to the river and the Weld Exhibition/Reunion Village area. Parking is available seven days a week for 24 hours. Parking costs $7 for day parking and $8 to park overnight.
Harvard Stadium, Gate 14: Parking available for about 500 cars and the lots accessible off Soldiers Field Road heading East. The lot is located across from the FALS/Rowing and Fitness Expo area. Parking costs $30 and the lot will be available Friday from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Memorial Drive from Cambridge Boat Club to Western Avenue will be closed on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.