The Head of the Charles Regatta is a world famous rowing competion held every 3rd weekend of October on the Charles River.

This competion first began in October 16, 1965. It was established by members of the Cambridge Boat club. Harvard coach Ernest Arlett established the style of the race. The race was to be a "head of the river" style competitions similar to the ones in his native England. The race is generally 3 miles long and the competitors race against the clock and others boats.

Please see for more information.

The Head of the Charles remains one of my favorite races of all time to coxswain. The course, starting at Magazine Beach, twists and turns through B.U. Bridge, past Riverside boat club, through Weeks bridge, past Weld boathouse, Newell boathouse, and Cambridge boathouse. Weeks bridge is usually my favorite part, and requires the most skill on behalf of the coxswain. If you go through unscathed, it's always fun to act superiour to those who did not escape the carnage. The spectators and announcers are usually at Weld-- when you pass by, listen for the announcer to say something good about your boat-- most of the time you can feel your rowers sitting taller and catching sharper. From personal experience, it's probably a bad thing if there is an uncomfortable silence as you row by..

The nature of a head race is mostly about racing against the clock rather than racing other crews, as each crew has its own start, which are staggered. However, everybody's favorite part of head races is passing or "walking on" crews which had started earlier.

A few years ago, a friend of mine was coxing the Rutgers B Men's 8. They had an early starting time, but had been passed by several other crews due to their inexperience, and basically had given up hope in placing. At Weeks bridge, he turned around, and saw Rutgers A coming around the turn, burning up the course, and walking through Penn on one side and Georgetown on the other. As all three boats slowly approached Rutgers B, the coxswain of Rutgers A shouts, "Pick one-- Georgetown or Penn!"
He then proceeded to steer the boat directly in the path of the University of Pennsylvania A boat, causing a Vespoli-wrecking collision... which won Rutgers the title. (for We have lived to row another day).

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.