Head of the Charles

Head of the Charles Regatta Returns

The world's largest rowing competition started on Friday instead of Saturday this year

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After being canceled last year due to coronavirus restrictions, the iconic Head of the Charles Regatta returned to Boston this weekend with an extra day of racing.

The world’s largest rowing event, slated for Friday, Oct. 22 to Sunday, Oct. 24, added races Friday in a bid to spread out the schedule and allow for the addition of an alumni event on Sunday for 2020 graduates who lost their senior season to coronavirus.

The three-mile race attracts thousands of athletes from around the world and includes rowers of all ages, from 17 to 90-plus.

What can you expect at this weekend’s Head of the Charles Regatta, from who’s racing to where to watch and more? Race directors Natasha Strom and Ami Mehr give our own Hannah Donnelly a preview.

All rowers who were accepted for the 2020 event were allowed to compete this year.

New COVID-19 safety guidelines were put in place due to the pandemic. All volunteers must be fully vaccinated, and organizers strongly encouraged vaccination for all athletes, sponsors and spectators. Vaccination is not mandatory, however.

Masks are not required outdoors, but all athletes, coaches, event staff, sponsors, volunteers and spectators are required to wear a mask at indoor locations.

Below is the full schedule:

Friday

  • 8 a.m.: Men's Senior-Veteran Singles (70+)
  • 8:18 a.m.: Women's Senior-Veteran Singles (70+)
  • 8:45 a.m.: Men's Grand Master/Veteran Singles (50+, 60+)
  • 9:28 a.m.: Women's Grand Master/Veteran Singles (50+, 60+)
  • 10:02 a.m.: Women's Senior-Master Doubles (50+)
  • 10:10 a.m.: Women's Grand-Master Doubles (60+)
  • 10:24 a.m.: Men's Senior-Master Doubles (50+)
  • 10:31 a.m.: Men's Grand-Master Doubles (60+)
  • 10:46 a.m.: Mixed Para Inclusion Doubles

Saturday

  • 8 a.m.: Men's Master & Senior Master Singles (30+, 40+)
  • 8:22 a.m.: Women's Master & Senior-Master Singles (30+, 40+)
  • 8:40 a.m.: Men's Club Singles
  • 8:58 a.m.: Women's Club Singles
  • 9:15 a.m.: Women's Master Doubles (40+)
  • 9:28 a.m.: Men's Master Doubles (40+)
  • 9:40 a.m.: Men's Senior-Master Eights (50+)
  • 9:51 a.m.: Men's Grand-Master Eights (60+)
  • 10:05 a.m.: Women's Senior-Master Eights (50+)
  • 10:17 a.m.: Women's Grand-Master Eights (60+)
  • 10:30 a.m.: Men's Senior-Master Fours (50+)
  • 10:42 a.m.: Men's Grand-Master Fours (60+)
  • 10:53 a.m.: Women's Senior-Master Fours (50+)
  • 11:06 a.m.: Women's Grand-Master Fours (60+)
  • 11:26 a.m.: Men's Alumni Eights
  • 11:46 a.m.: Women's Alumnae Eights
  • 12:08 p.m.: Men's Club Fours
  • 12:27 p.m.: Women's Club Fours
  • 12:55 p.m.: Men's Club Eights
  • 1:11 p.m.: Women's Club Eights
  • 1:28 p.m.: Men's Master Fours (40+)
  • 1:36 p.m.: Men's Alumni Fours
  • 1:50 p.m.: Women's Master Fours (40+)
  • 1:57 p.m.: Women's Alumnae Fours
  • 2:14 p.m.: Men's Master Eights (40+)
  • 2:24 p.m.: Women's Master Eights (40+)
  • 2:39 p.m.: Men's Championship Doubles
  • 2:52 p.m.: Women's Championship Doubles
  • 3:06 p.m.: Men's Championship Singles, Men's Lightweight Singles
  • 3:23 p.m.: Women's Championship Singles, Women's Lightweight Singles
  • 3:41 p.m.: Mixed Legs/Trunk/Arms Fours, Para Inclusion Fours

Sunday

  • 7:45 a.m.: Men's Youth Singles
  • 8:04 a.m.: Women's Youth Singles
  • 8:24 a.m.: Women's Youth Fours
  • 9:02 a.m.: Directors' Challenge Women's Quad
  • 9:19 a.m.: Women's Youth Coxed Quad
  • 9:44 a.m.: Women's Youth Eights
  • 10:16 a.m.: Directors' Challenge Mixed Doubles
  • 10:43 a.m.: Men's Youth Doubles
  • 11:03 a.m.: Women's Youth Doubles
  • 11:28 a.m.: Men's Youth Fours
  • 12:05 p.m.: Directors' Challenge Men's Quad
  • 12:19 p.m.: Men's Youth Coxed Quad
  • 12:43 p.m.: Men's Youth Eight
  • 1:16 p.m.: Men's Championship Four, Men's Lightweight Four
  • 1:30 p.m.: Women's Championship Four, Women's Lightweight Four
  • 1:49 p.m.: Men's Championship Eight, Men's Lightweight Eight
  • 2:05 p.m.: Men's Collegiate Eight
  • 2:25 p.m.: Women's Championship Eight, Women's Lightweight Eight
  • 2:39 p.m.: Women's Collegiate Eight
  • 2:58 p.m.: Men's Collegiate Four
  • 3:15 p.m.: Women's Collegiate Four
  • 3:33 p.m.: Directors' Challenge Parent/Child Doubles
  • 3:59 p.m.: Directors' Challenge Mixed Eight
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 23: A crowd watches the Head of the Charles Regatta from the Eliot Bridge on October 23, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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