Over 1200 oarsmen and women, young and old, novice and experienced, will compete this weekend in the annual Head of the Charles Regatta scheduled for Sunday afternoon.
The Regatta is a spectator's delight. The three-mile course runs from the B.U. Boathouse to the antenna on the WBZ tower past Soldiers Field. Navigation on the twisting course is just as important as open water speed.
Entries will leave the B.U. Boathouse every 10 seconds from 12 p.m. until 5 p.m. The excitement of the race is increased by the competition between faster boats passing early departers.
The only true handicap race in the day's schedule is the first race for veteran oarsmen. In that event an oarsman will receive a six-second handicap for every year of age over 40.
One of the highlights of the afternoon will be the entry of two women's eights in the intermediate eights. Both Radcliffe and MIT will enter the competition. Radcliffe, under the coaching of Garrett Olmsted, finished fifth in the Women's Nationals last spring.
The competition for the Boston Globe Challenging Trophy in the Elite Eight-Oared Shells will include crews from the Besper Boat Club, Penn, Wisconsin, Princeton, and last year's co-victors, Northeastern and the Union Boat Club.
Many college coaches are entering varsity crew members in the Elite Four-Oared Shell with cowswain. Represented will be national champion Cornell, Eastern Collegiate champion Navy, and defending champion Brown.
Individually, Jim Dietz, national champion, will be the leading contender in the Elite Single Sculls. Dietz should be challenged by local entries Henry Hamilton and Ben Jones. Dr. Gail Pearson, who challenged the men last year, is the favorite in the women's singles.
Among local entries, Kirkland House traditionally gives the strongest undergraduate showing.