Thanks to the yet again unseasonably warm weather this past weekend, we couldn’t help but pay a visit to the Head of the Charles Regatta. We followed the flocks of visitors into the preppy pandemonium that accompanies the world’s largest regatta. Here are our reflections on this year’s HOCR.
The free food samples seem to get weirder every year. We were faced with strange chips and carbonated drinks that we weren’t sure we liked. The free 5-Hour Energy may have been tempting for those of us who still have midterms left, but the mediocre free snacks made us wish we could afford the overpriced greasy fare sold around the race course.
The food options may have been sub-par, but the eye candy exceeded our expectations. After two months of being surrounded by the same pasty, sleep-deprived Harvard kids, the fit, sunkissed rowers were a breath of fresh air. (Never mind the fact that they’re too busy winning Olympic medals to give us a glance.)
What is going on?
Surprisingly, what shocks us most at the Head of the Charles every year is not Harvard's uber-restrictive security protocols or the high prices at the Brooks Brothers tent, but rather the fact that people actually flock en masse to Cambridge for the event. While the crowd was cheering, commenting appreciatively on different boats, and screaming during the most "dramatic" moments of racing, we were stuck trying to make out whether any of our friends were passing.
A chance to show off
All in all, the regatta gave us a chance to do what Harvard students do best: show off. With sunny Insta posts and Snapchat filters, we got to show our friends that we occasionally leave the Cabot Library basement and have fun. After all, other than Harvard-Yale weekend and formal season, we don’t get many opportunities to update our social media.
We still have some lingering questions, though: Why do rowing fans enjoy vests so much? What even is rowing? And was that group of tall white guys the punchmasters for the Fly, or members of a men’s heavyweight eight? The world—or at least Flyby—may never know.