The 45th Head of Charles will undoubtedly be a spectacular Regatta. More than 1,900 entries from the top clubs and college crews in the country, USRowing, the Great Eights, Olympians, and a slew of national team members from across the world--and some sculler named Mahe--will certainly set the stage for a weekend of exceptionally great rowing.
But we all know which race everyone will be lining the riverbanks for: the new HOCR Alumni Eight events!
The wise and generous rulers of the Head of the Charles Regatta have decided to create an entirely new event category, strictly for alumni boats. The race is restricted to athletes who all attended the same academic institution, with no eligibility restrictions. The finish times will be adjusted according to a new-fangled (and reliable) age handicap.
The removal of the floating debris (oops, I mean alumni boats) will likely make the Club Eight races (Saturday shortly after noontime) slightly less exciting this year. With the vast majority of potential penalty-makers now consolidated to the Alumni Eight event, there is no doubt that this is THE race to watch. Lets take a look at some of this year's alumni "competitors":
Most Difficult to Spell: Messalonskee (Colby) vs. Occoquan (Penn).
Winner: Messalonskee, by one double vowel.
Best Odds of Winning: Harvard vs. Williams.
Winner: Harvard by one boat (Harvard, Nonesuch Oar, Warren and Rude & Smooth [4 boats] vs. Williams, North Adams RC, Purple Reign [3 boats]).
Best Use of the Word "Blue": Blue Cheese (Yale) vs. Blue Goose (Bates).
Winner: Blue Cheese, because it's moldy (like the old unisuit you just rediscovered in the box you just found in your closet).
Best Name (Men): Purple Reign. Because no matter how you spell it, it's still a Prince song when you say it out loud.
Best Name (Women): Boola Boola (Yale).
Most Accurate Alumni Name: Tie: Fat Cat (Princeton) & Old Birds (Louisville).
Least Accurate Alumni Name: Spartans (Case Western).
Biggest Liars: "Friends of..." Oh, please: friends don't let friends row three-miles, unless they're in shape!
Make no mistake, the Alumni races are your best chance to see the pure grit and determination it takes just to finish a race--better yet, a world-class regatta.
You will be able to see it all the way from the BU bridge--which is right about when members of various crews will be coming to the hard-and-fast realization that, unlike fitness and muscle memory, lactic acid buildup won't be deserting them any time soon--all the way to the Finish Line near Herter Park.
Expect the loudest cheering from Reunion Village, where non-racing alumni will be cheering their friends through blisters and hamstring cramps--from the comfort of chairs, nestled at the edges of a food-and-drink tent.
Best of luck to all you, brave alumni rowers. And don't forget to take aspirin!
HOCR Alumni Eight - Men
Saturday, October 17th
Starts at 11:15 AM Event competitors and bow numbers are here
. HOCR Alumni Eight - Women
Saturday, October 17th
Starts at 11:30 AM Event competitors and bow numbers are here