It's often said that the Head Of The Charles Regatta is a "coxswain's race." Steering three miles through seven bridges and two reverse S-turns-- while keeping your crew motivated and informed -- makes navigating HOCR's legendary course one of the most challenging regattas in the world. A fast boat could do well; a fast boat with a skilled coxswain will do better.
For a number of years, the Regatta has offered coxswain clinics and river tours. This year there are three clinics being offered (one is an abbreviated clinic) and two riverboat tours for coxswains to familiarize themselves with the HOCR rules and sinuous course.
It is highly recommended that both new and experienced coxswains attend one of these clinics on Friday or Saturday. With the elimination of Saturday evening's practice, crews will need every edge they can get to compete safely and confidently at the 43rd Head Of The Charles.
The tours and clinics are helmed by World Champion and 8-time US National Team cox, Yaz Farooq. Joining her is John Lambert, chief of HOCR Rules and Appeals Committee, and Tom Tiffany, legendary coxswain and former HOCR Race Operations Co-Chair.
Friday's "How to Cox the Perfect Head Race? clinic, starting at noon, will include video examples shot from the coxswain's seat and HOCR maps to explain challenging scenarios along the racecourse; cost is $15 per person. At 1:45 PM on Friday, clinic participants will board a nearby riverboat for a tour of the racecourse. The cost of the river tour is $5 (free to clinic attendees).
On Saturday there are two other clinics and one more tour. At 8:00 AM a repeat of the 90-minute "How to Cox the Perfect Head Race? clinic is scheduled but, as racing must begin, it is not followed by a river tour. At 4:00 PM on Saturday, Tom Tiffany leads an abbreviated clinic called "Cutting it Close"; cost is $10 per person.
The second river tour is scheduled for 5:00 PM on Saturday, October 20th--immediately following "The Perfect Head Race" clinic and after the Championship Singles events conclude. The riverboat will depart from the Cambridge Boat Club and disembark at the Finish Area Launch Site (FALS). As daylight will be limited, participants are expected to arrive promptly at 5:00 PM at CBC. Seats are limited on both river tours and coxswains will get preferential seating. Cost for the river tour is $5 per person (free to clinic attendees).
For each of these clinics and tours no pre-registration is necessary. Just show up at the designated location at least 20-minutes prior to each event and pay in cash (no checks or credit cards will be accepted).
2007 HOCR Coxswain Clinic & Tour Schedule12:00 Noon: Coxswain Clinic at Laviettes Pavilion (Harvard University)
Friday, October 19th
1:45 PM: River Tour (departs from Newell Boat House; returns to FALS)
Saturday, October 20th8:00 AM: Coxswain Clinic (Buckingham Browne & Nichols School) 4:00 PM: Coxswain Clinic (Buckingham Browne & Nichols School) 5:00 PM: River Tour (departs from Cambridge Boat Club; returns to FALS)
For details and location specifics "sit ready" at www.hocr.org/competitors/coxswain_clinic.asp