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Head of the Charles Regatta

Head of the Charles Regatta

Head Of The Charles Regatta®, the world’s largest two-day rowing event, was first held on October 16, 1965. The race was established by the Cambridge Boat Club members D’Arcy MacMahon, Howard McIntyre, and Jack Vincent, with the advice of Harvard University sculling instructor Ernest Arlett. Arlett proposed that a "head of the river" race similar in tradition to races held in his native England, be held on the Charles River. "Head" races, a class of regattas, are generally three miles long-boats race against each other and the clock, starting sequentially approximately fifteen seconds apart. Winners of each race receive the honorary title of "Head of the River" or, in this case, "Head Of The Charles."

The Regatta Today
Over the past 45 years, the Head Of The Charles regatta has grown tremendously. Today, more than 7,500 athletes from around the world compete in 55 different race events. The Regatta grew to a two-day event in 1997 and now attracts up to 300,000 spectators during the October weekend.

The Board of Directors of the Cambridge Boat Club appoints 15 trustees to the HOCR Board of Directors, 5 of whom are the Managing Directors who oversee the management of the race and a twelve-member volunteer Race Committee (including two Race Co-chairs). The Race Committee meets year-round to oversee the operational and logistical details of the event, with assistance from 80 leading volunteers on 30 committees which meet weekly in the Fall. A professional staff of three, whose h

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