Flyby arrived at the Charles River donning our Crimson vests and Bean Boots under the pretense of cheering on internationally-renowned rowers. We stayed to inhale free samples, drool over cute dogs and European Olympians, and capture the perfect #Insta. Here are our takeaways from the 2016 Head of the Charles Regatta.
Having braved nearly three weeks of subpar menu items in the HUDS-less dining halls, this was a definite draw. After multiple laps up and down the River, we scored quite a variety of snacks. Our inner kleptomaniac emerged at the sight of open containers of bagged Popcorner chips and kettle corn, which were among the aggressively promo-ed freebies. We shamelessly went back for thirds (okay... fourths) of Ghirardelli chocolates, sriracha chicken samplers, and BBQ ribs to fill us up for breakfast and lunch. All these morsels were washed down by free Bigelow tea and “Celsius” negative-calorie energy drinks, which claims to burn fat for you by raising your heart rate (read: have mini heart attacks to lose weight!). We ended the day by taking several 12-pack boxes of Chobani hummus dips and more free chips (to dip in our many dips, of course), which are now sitting in our dorm rooms untouched. At least we're prepared for another 3 weeks of only getting $50 in oh-so-flexible Crimson Cash.
Head of the Charles should be renamed Puppy Heaven. Never in our college careers have we seen so many dogs in one place, especially with elderly owners amiable enough to let us cuddle and photograph them. We’re talking dogs with sweaters, people. All the cute canine sightings definitely made the trek to the river worthwhile, despite reminding us of the dearth of unconditional affection in our daily lives.
Athlete Eye Candy
Imagine: tall, lanky studs scattered for miles. Forget the ones actually rowing in the water—because we’re not hardcore binocular-wearing fanatics, we could barely see their faces. Instead, we strolled along the banks to ogle the athletes up close and hang on their every enchanting word about erg machines. Bonus points for accents. Note, the aloof species of crew boy is much less attainable than that of canines, and is not to be approached.
Our tummies full, our dog quota maxed out, our boy fantasies realized—HOCR seemed too good to be true. There were, however, a few drawbacks.
Darties (or Lack Thereof)
Maybe we’re not cool enough, but these were virtually non-existent. Granted, Saturday’s rainy weather was not ideal for outdoor gatherings, but we expected at least a smattering of kickbacks on Sunday. We were disappointed to find the Head of the Charles is more of a classy, family affair than cause for inebriated undergraduate festivities.
If you wanted to commemorate your HOCR experience, good luck doing so without throwing down some cash. Sponsors like Brooks Brothers, which even came up with a posh geotag for the event, were definitely catering towards a clientele other than broke college students.
The journey down JFK street was near impossible, as everyone walks significantly slower than the average go-getter Harvard student. Just because we knew what we were getting into as spectators from around the world descended on Cambridge for the weekend doesn’t mean we don’t get to complain.