Head Of The Charles Regatta Announces Return of the World’s Largest Rowing Regatta to the Charles River in October

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Dan Beckham

June 14, 2021

Boston, MA – The Head Of The Charles Regatta presented by BNY Mellon today announced that it is planning to hold its annual in-person event on the Charles River in Boston on the weekend of October 22-24. The resumption of the Regatta comes after a year in which the worldwide pandemic curtailed on-water regattas globally and reflects the current full reopening of the economy in Massachusetts and the easing of social restrictions in the state.
Along with its full schedule of Saturday and Sunday racing on October 23rd and 24th, the Head Of The Charles Regatta is also pleased to announce that it will be introducing two hours of additional racing on the morning of Friday, October 22nd. This additional racing block provides opportunity for more athletes to participate in the Regatta, flexibility in scheduling for unforeseen weather delays, and timing buffers for over 1,800 diligent volunteers who often work from sunup to sundown.

“Our long wait is finally over and we look forward to hosting the world rowing community back in Boston this fall,” said Fred Schoch, Executive Director of the Regatta. “As circumstances surrounding the pandemic have continued to significantly improve in Massachusetts, we want to let our community know that we are in full planning mode for October and look forward to providing a safe event for our competitors, our volunteers, and our spectators.”

Over the last eighteen months, the Head Of The Charles Regatta Board of Directors and staff have met regularly with a team of infectious disease physicians and other experts at Massachusetts General Hospital – along with officials from the Commonwealth – to assess its ability to host a safe regatta, as well as receive guidance on public health and safety protocols and guidelines. A detailed set of health and safety protocols and guidelines for participation in the 2021 Regatta will be released this summer, along with more details on the regatta itself.

“The decision to expand the Regatta by adding racing into Friday morning was made with great care,” said Blair Crawford, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Regatta. “Beginning at the Race Operations Committee level and extending up through our Managing Directors, consensus on this decision was reached only after serious consideration of how it would impact our stakeholders. As the Regatta grows, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing the same competitor experience people know and love.”

The Head Of The Charles Regatta was founded in 1965 and is the world’s largest rowing race, regularly fielding more than 11,000 athletes from around the world to compete in a full line-up of sculling and sweep rowing events. The ages of competitors range from 17-year-old youth rowers to athletes in their 90s, and the event is seen as a must-attend race for world class and Olympian rowers. More than 1,800 volunteers ensure that the event runs smoothly. In 2019, the last year that the full regatta was held, an economic analysis determined that it generated more than $88 million in economic impact to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

2021 Event Schedule