Each fall, the Head of the Charles Regatta puts more than 10,000 rowers on the Charles River, and an estimated 40,000 spectators on its banks.
This free, two-day event brings the best rowers from across the globe to Boston, including many Olympic medalists. Participants race the picturesque three-mile course, which starts at Boston University’s DeWolfe Boathouse and ends at Christian A. Herter Park, off Soldiers Field Road, near the Northeastern University boathouse.
We asked Head of the Charles Regatta executive Director Fred Schloch for his picks on the best places to watch this year's race for free.
The starting line at the Boston University Boathouse: “[This] is an exciting place both from the perspective of the fans as well as the athletes. The view looking down the Charles River Basin is impressive, especially when the river is populated with over 160 boats warming up.”
The Weeks Footbridge: “[This is] the halfway point of the course and has views looking downstream of one of the longest straightaways of the course, called the Powerhouse Stretch. It’s an energetic spot of the course with fans crowded on along the top of the bridge cheering on the racers as they pass underneath. Bridges tend to be some of the first spots to fill up, so arriving early is important.”
Eliot Bridge: “The final turn of the race occurs at the Eliot Bridge and is one of the most pivotal points of the competition. It is the most severe curve on the course and can cause major steering issues for boats. This turn has seen spectacular crashes, lead changes, and come-from-behind sprints to the finish. It leads into the final stretch to the finish line and gives great perspective of all the dynamic race action.”
If you go:
Oct. 21-22, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., various locations, hocr.org