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Rowers take your mark! The 51st Annual Head of the Charles Regatta, the largest two-day rowing event in the world, takes place from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on October 17- 18, 2015 along the Charles River. Nearly 10,000 athletes from hundreds of colleges and community boating clubs around the world are set to row. Over 1,900 boats are competing in 61 events in front of roughly 300,000 spectators.
The iconic race was launched back in 1965 by members of the renowned Cambridge Boat Club, which modeled the event after England’s “Head of the River” contest along the River Thames. Staged along the three mile section of the Charles River that runs through Boston and Cambridge, Head of the Charles is an exhilarating contest in which boaters in various categories compete against both their opponents and the clock.
Much like our other iconic race, the Boston Marathon, you don’t have to be an elite athlete to enjoy the excitement of the regatta. With six miles of shoreline on both sides of the river, there’s plenty of choice viewing spots, including the Anderson Bridge and Weeks Footbridge that connect the two cities.
Viewers who want to be out of the elements can head to the Eliot Bridge Enclosure, a ticketed venue with access to a race-side tent, buffet luncheon, and cash bar all the while seeing the races up close. If you find yourself at the midpoint of this three mile course, check out the Weld Exhibition, one of the Regatta’s thriving marketplaces where sponsors line the river with free samples or official Regatta merchandise.
This year the Weld Exhibition is also welcoming Team USA’s Road to Rio tour. The U.S. Olympic Committee hosts this free event both Saturday and Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Stop by and meet some of your favorite Olympians and learn more about the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games!
You can find out more about the famed race at http://www.hocr.org/
If you’re watching the race, don’t forget to check out Harvard Square on the Cambridge side, and Kenmore Square and Back Bay on the Boston side. In addition, there are plenty of reasons to be in Massachusetts all through October. The fall foliage is getting brighter by the day, farmers markets and county fairs are everywhere, new seasons of the performing arts are underway, and our professional sports teams are back in town. Enjoy.
For more information on other sporting events in Massachusetts, please visit the Mass Sports Marketing Office website or contact Shannah McArdle. For information about visiting Massachusetts any time of year, go to MassVacation.com.