The Head Of The Charles has two main areas for parking.  Finish Area Launching Site (FALS) is where trailers and teams launch from, with boat racks available for Fours and Eights.  Singles and Doubles are permitted to launch from FALS as well.  The Singles And Doubles Launch (SADL) is located at Magazine Beach in Cambridge – this area is restricted to Singles and Doubles only, and has limited parking, pickup/drop off space.  Please read below for more information regarding the two areas


Official Practice will begin on Friday to all crews and scullers at 10:15amt. All boats must be off the water by 6:00 PM.  No boats will be permitted to launch after 5:30 PM.  The course will not be open for practice on Saturday or Sunday.

There is no official practice (no safety launches, no river control) any day during the week leading up to the Regatta. Rowing at any time before the official FALS and SADL docks open is at your own risk. Crews visiting the Charles River ahead of race weekend should be sure to be familiar with the Traffic Pattern map and local rules.

Practice Launch Windows:  To better manage traffic all crews planning to practice will be strongly encouraged to sign up for a Practice Launch Window.  Registration for practice windows will be available after 10/1.  Please check back here then.

  • Trailer Registration

    Trailer Registration will open on September 14, 2022 at Noon EDT.

    REGISTER HERE (under Operational Registration)

    Trailer spots are no cost and are first come first served. If you are bringing boats that are racing on Friday and are unable to secure a Thursday slot, please contact the office.

    Due to overwhelming demand, institutions wishing to bring a trailer onsite must register in advance. Only trailers carrying 4 or more sweep-oared hulls will be permitted to park on-site. Trailers with fewer than 4 sweep hulls will be asked to unload their equipment and park at a secure lot upstream.  We have a cap of 100 trailers. We will open the trailer waitlist after the initial 100 spots are filled.

  • FALS Trailer Parking

    The FALS area will open for trailer parking on on Thursday, October 20th from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM and from 7:00 AM—4:00 PM on Friday, October 21st. All trailers must approach the area from the Eliot Bridge end of Memorial Drive/ Soldiers Field Road. A Regatta volunteer will meet all trailers and issue the driver a parking permit for a specific area and direct the driver to that area. Courteous cooperation with their direction is expected.

    Please enter the required permit information and leave the completed permit on the driver’s side dashboard of the truck. If the driver chooses to take the truck, please place the permit in the plastic sheet protector provided, and attach it to the trailer with provided zip ties.

    IN CASE OF EMERGENCY WE MUST BE ABLE TO CONTACT THE TRUCK OPERATOR. Trucks that detach from trailers and leave the parking area may not be able to return until Sunday afternoon.

    Due to limited space, preference will be given to fully loaded trailers. Trailers with fewer than FOUR (4) Sweep Hulls will be required to off-load boats to FALS racks and park empty trailers in an overflow lot 2 miles further upriver.

    NO OTHER VEHICLES ARE PERMITTED TO ENTER THE PARKING AREA.  All unauthorized parked vehicles will be towed.

    Vehicles carrying only single or double shells will not be permitted to enter the FALS. They will be directed to the Singles and Doubles Launching (SADL) area at Magazine Beach to offload their boats to racks. No trailer parking is available at Magazine Beach, but there is limited space for cars carrying shells.

  • Directions to FALS

    Driving to FALS

    I-90 (Mass Pike) East to Exit 18 Brighton/Cambridge.

    Follow signs to Cambridge.

    Proceed through several traffic lights and cross the Charles River via the River Street Bridge.

    Once across the bridge, take a LEFT onto Memorial Drive so the river is on your left. Continue for 1.6 miles.

    When the road forks (near the Cambridge Boat Club), stay to the left, following signs for Watertown/Newton. Proceed through the traffic light, staying in the left or center lane to approach the Eliot Bridge.

    While crossing the Eliot Bridge, move to the right, and then turn to the right, following signs for Newton.

    A Regatta Volunteer will meet trailers for registration and then direct them to a parking space.

    Please use the utmost caution when traveling on Soldiers Field Road, which is not designed for large vehicles.

    DO NOT attempt to drive under any overpasses on Soldiers Field Road.

    A portion of this route closes at 8:00 AM Saturday and Sunday.

  • Trailer DEPARTURE

    All trailers and equipment must depart by 7:00 PM on Sunday of race weekend. Below, please find directions on the easiest way to return to the Massachusetts Turnpike.

    Pull out of the lot and take a right onto Soldiers Field Road, continue past the Northeastern University Henderson boathouse.  There’s a ramp to the right, go up that ramp and take a left onto Western Avenue.  Follow Western Ave for a couple miles until you reach the Charles River.  (You’ll know you’re there when you’re forced to take a right hand turn because the bridge over the Charles for Western Ave is a one way coming at you.)

    There is a sign at that right hand turn for the Mass Pike. After that turn, take your next right to get on the Mass Pike.

  • Parking/Boat Drop/Pickup

    SADL will be open beginning Thursday 10/20 at 4pm for Boat Drop Off

    Athletes dropping off shells will have 30 minutes for temporary parking to
    unload equipment. Please make other parking arrangements if you’re
    planning to rig, row, register, etc.

    Please see a SADL co-chair (or SADL volunteer) for an event-specific parking
    pass, good for 2 hours prior to/1 hour after your event. Your registration
    packet will be required to receive a pass.

    Please do not arrive more than 2 hours before your event.

    Parking is always at the discretion of the Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the ranger on duty may close the lot if it becomes full.

  • Safety, Launching, and Landing

    Safety Guidelines

    No shell may launch without a standard bow ball securely attached at the
    bow of the boat. No exceptions.

    No shell may launch without heel tie downs for foot stretchers that require
    them. No exceptions.

    Heel ties must not be longer than 3 fingers width (2.5in/7cm) from shoe to
    stretcher. Note that this standard may permit less slack than other

    Wet launching is strictly prohibited as per HOCR regulations.


    Athletes are expected to launch and be ready to row within 2-3 minutes of
    arriving at the dock.

    Athletes must have Bow/Shirt/Stern numbers firmly affixed prior to
    approaching the dock area.

    SADL volunteers will assist with carrying oars to and removing shoes from
    the dock.

    The Dockmaster will instruct athletes on when to shove off and cross the
    river. During busy periods, athletes may be instructed to tie in after shoving
    off and crossing.


    A River Control marshal will queue returning athletes and send them across
    the race course when safe, between events.

    Please queue up and follow the instructions of the Dockmaster when landing.

    Due to limited dock space, athletes are expected to clear the dock within 2-3
    minutes after landing.

    In the event that you launch at SADL but will be landing at another dock on
    the river, please inform the Dockmaster before you launch.

  • Practice and Racing


    On Friday, shells may only launch from 11:00AM to 5:00PM (at the
    discretion of SADL dockmaster). All boats must be off the water by 6:00
    PM. No exceptions. Practice rowing is not allowed after racing concludes on

    No crossing of the river is allowed on Friday—you must row the entire
    course from and back to your launch point.

    For safety reasons, use of the SADL dock is not allowed during the week
    preceding the Regatta (it is unstaffed).

    Race Day

    The dock will open at the discretion of River Control. Earlier launching is not
    permitted. On Friday, we will have two+ hours of racing from 7:45amAM to

    Please refer to the schedule of events when planning your launch time. To
    avoid interference, river crossings are only permitted between race events,
    with no exceptions.

    Ergs are for competitor warm-up only, with a 20 minute (maximum one hour
    prior to your event).

  • Boathouse
  • Parking