The event is the world’s largest two-day regatta and the third-most attended event in New England annually, and often is one of the Square’s most lucrative weekends of the year, according to local business owners.
Thousands of spectators line the banks of the Charles River as boats pass by the Anderson Memorial Bridge in the Head of the Charles Regatta
Rowing enthusiasts and casual spectators of all ages streamed through Harvard’s campus to watch more than 70 races at the 55th Head of the Charles Regatta on Saturday and Sunday.
For the Harvard crew teams and fans around the world, the most wonderful time of year is approaching: the highly-anticipated Head of the Charles Regatta. It takes place every year in Cambridge in mid-October, and all four Crimson teams, women’s and men’s lightweight and heavyweight, will be racing.
Many dream to one day wear the home country’s flag on our backs during an international sports competition, but only a small minority of us ever get the opportunity. An even smaller minority ever get to walk away from these competitions victorious. But for junior Hope Cessford, a member of Radcliffe Heavyweight Crew from Durham, England, this dream became a reality this past summer at the U-23 World Rowing Championships in Florida.
Led by senior captains Molly Lesser and Maria Boyle, Harvard women’s lightweight crew will look to open the season strong at the Head of the Charles Regatta this weekend. In advance of the regatta, Lesser and Boyle have worked hard to facilitate efficient practices and effective communication across the squad’s members.
At the Head of the Charles, twenty different trophies are up for grabs. This weekend, everyone from high school racers to veteran scullers will vie for one of the regatta’s prestigious pieces of hardware. Each one showcases a different person, city, or sponsor that helped shape the Head of the Charles into the premier two-day rowing spectacle that it is today.
Over the past two weeks, all four of the Crimson’s crews took to the water to partake in tenacious battles of physical exertion and mental fortitude. Through high tides and low tides, all displayed a competitiveness indicative of the immense training that has propelled them to the solid teams they are today. With the large regattas of the postseason looming near, the warmer weather signals the heating up of this spring’s competition.
The Crimson dominated both the No. 12 Big Red as well as No. 15 George Washington, taking all four races, including a solid finish in the first varsity eight.
As the ice of the River Charles thaws and recedes, the Harvard crew programs look to rejuvenate the waters with intensive competition and spirited drive. On the heels of competitive seasons last year, each team looks to embark on an even more successful campaign this spring.
As midterm exams come to a close, Harvard crew underwent its first test of the year. Over the course of last weekend, the Crimson participated in numerous races at the Head of the Charles Regatta, including the men’s club eights and lightweight fours, which both managed to secure the best times in their respective races.