Can’t Wait to Get Started

The pre-dawn wait for trailer parking to open.

The First Boat Trailers Arrive Before Dawn

By Nigil Lee

An hour before sunrise the first boat trailers began lining up on Soliders Field Road. The racing on the water doesn’t begin until Saturday, but the race to parking lot began early in the week for some long-haul drivers. The first team arrived by 6 a.m. Friday although entry into the parking lot wasn’t scheduled until 7. The teams that show up early were very eager to get setup and ready for the water.

Second in line was Peter Brevick who was carrying racing shells for OKC River Sport in Oklahoma City. His journey began on Tuesday. He was worried about traffic in Boston, but by arriving so early to the regatta he was able to avoid the worst of the morning rush. By 6:25, six trailers of teams from around the country were lined up waiting for trailer registration to allow them into the parking area.

Nick Bartick had driven up from the D.C. area last night carrying shells from a variety of teams. He was eager to be allowed to park. “I just hope they let us in soon,” he said with the look of someone who had been driving for far too long. His wish were was soon granted, trailer registration began allowing trailers into the parking area at 6:35. They were in a rush to ensure that the arriving trailers, which stretched hundreds of yards down the road, didn’t interfere with the traffic pattern along Soldiers Field Road.

Just up the road from the trailer registration booth, Richard Feilteau, a veteran volunteer who has been guiding trailers in the parking lot for several years was directing arriving trailers on to ensure they pulled into the lot straight. “We’re expecting 70 to 75 trailers this year,” he said. “Every year though the number seems to be 72.” Feilteau’s job is to ensure that trailers park in the parking lot tightly enough that all the trailers fit while still adhering to the rules on minimum spacing imposed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation which regulates Christian Herter Park where the Finish Area Launch Site (FALS) is located. One of the biggest challenges for Feilteau is frustrated drivers who have driven across the country to attend the regatta and are eager to get out of their trucks.

By sunrise, the first phase of the arrival had gone smoothly. The drivers’ days were done. The shells now belong to the set-up crews, and soon they will belong once again to the rowers.


Volunteer for HOCR

image description

Make this year’s Head Of The Charles® a success. There are many opportunities to get involved over race weekend and before.