50th Head of the Charles Regatta
October 10, 2014


October in New England offers so many great activities it can be hard to choose what to do, from exploring pumpkin patches to heading out for leaf-peeping hikes, but one not-to-miss event, especially this year, is the Head of the Charles Regatta.

The world’s largest two-day rowing competition celebrates its 50th race the weekend of October 18 and 19, which means lots of anniversary events and offerings. The free event is always family-friendly, with activities for all ages, including a rowing and fitness expo; food vendors; and this year, a 50th history exhibit, with historical artifacts, photos, and other memorabilia from past regattas.

Spectators line up along the three-mile race along both sides of the Charles River, which begins at Boston University’s DeWolfe Boathouse and finishes at the Artesani Park in Brighton. Most people enjoy watching between the Anderson and Weeks bridges, along the halfway point of the race.

“No one could have envisioned how big this event would become when it was started back in 1965 by a few members of the Cambridge Rowing Club, but this will be a spectacular year for the Regatta,” said Fredrick Schoch, the executive director of the event. “October will be the culmination of a half century of historic rowing on Boston’s famed Charles River, and fans will be delighted by what the Regatta has in store.”

A Rowing Primer
It’s always nice to know a little of the lingo, so here’s a quick lesson on what’s what and who’s who in rowing. And if your kids become enchanted with the idea of rowing, Community Rowing offers youth learn-to-row programs.

The forward section of the boat and the first part to cross the finish line.

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.

A sweep rower who rows with their oar on the left side of the boat.

A rower who sculls; rows with two oars.

A sweep rower who rows with their oar on the right side of the boat.

A rower who rows with one oar.

“Hard on port (or starboard)”
Rowers on that side of the boat must row harder (and the opposite side must row slightly easier) in order to facilitate a sharp turn.

 “Hold water”
Stop the boat.

 “Power 10″
A call for rowers to do ten of their best, most powerful strokes. It’s a strategy used to pull ahead of a competitor.





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