On behalf of the Cambridge Boat Club, the 2011 Race Committee, Race Operations Group and my staff, I welcome you back to the Head Of The Charles Regatta. In just two weeks, competitors and spectators from around the globe will come to participate in what has been playfully dubbed “the Super Bowl of rowing.” No other fall race in America matches the scope, size and energy of the Head Of The Charles.
In a year in which the economy is unpredictable and national unemployment tops 9%, corporate marketing budgets have been under constant revision. I am therefore pleased to recognize our returning partners from 2010. With unwavering support from EMC, Brooks Brothers, and Delta Air Lines, we are on sound financial footing this fall.
EMC will again have a strong presence at both the Weld Boathouse area and the Rowing and Fitness Expo, and their representatives are eager to engage you in discussions about work opportunities with their global brand. Brooks Brothers, our proud Official Apparel Sponsor, will offer two retail shops along the river and sell co-branded clothing that will resonate with all attendees. Finally, you will notice our 1,400 volunteers on site each wearing a handsome, custom-designed jacket by Brooks Brothers.
Returning in 2011, Delta Air Lines will again present the Eliot Bridge Enclosure, located directly upstream of the Eliot Bridge. This upscale, semi-private tent offers alumni, parents, rowers, and friends a place to sit and dine during the Regatta weekend. A great hit with all attendees last year, we anticipate a full house again this weekend.
New this year will be luggage titan Samsonite. Be sure to stop by their interactive obstacle course on the Cambridge side of the Charles—at the Weld boathouse area or the Rowing and Fitness Expo—to buy a weekend bag, backpack, or accessory, all co-branded with the HOCR logo.
Products and services from a host of other companies will also be shown and sampled on site. Please visit the many other Patrons at the Weld and Weeks Footbridge locations, including: Keeper Springs, 5-Hour Energy, Mohegan Sun, and Green Mountain Coffee.
Of course, the weekend would not be complete without a visit to the Rowing and Fitness Expo, near the finish line. Get a first-hand look at the rowing equipment manufacturers and apparel brands that support the rowing community. There you will also see products from the HOCR official licensed merchandise vendor, Samsonite, Shimano, Concept2, WinTech Racing, Hudson Boat Works, and many, many more.
A group of very important in-kind sponsors also help the Regatta. They are: USRowing, The Lenox Hotel (our official hotel), CBS Radio Boston, The Phoenix Media Group, The Boston Globe, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Whaleback Systems, Boston Copy Associates, and Gentle Giant Moving & Storage.
We thank Commissioner Edward Lambert Jr. and Janice Parlon, Manager of Special Events of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), for their support and partnership, without which the Regatta could not exist.
On a final note, I am pleased to announce that the Permanent Endowment of the Head Of the Charles, through careful operational management and generous donors, has spun off a trickle of income to make possible the travel of some of this year’s elite international athletes. It is the intent of the Regatta’s board, from time to time, to spend a small percentage of interest income from the endowment to directly support the mission of the HOCR. We are pleased to launch this policy by supporting future Olympians in 2012 at this year’s Regatta.
Good racing to all competitors and may your trip down the Charles be speedy, rhythmic and powerful! Enjoy the weekend and we’ll look for you again in 2012 on October 20th and 21st.