Cambridge, MA -The Head Of The Charles Regatta (HOCR) announced it is sponsoring 28 Ukrainian National Team rowers and coaches to compete in the 2022 Regatta October 21-23 on the Charles River.
The regatta's support makes it possible for the Ukrainians to compete in the world's largest three-day rowing competition, which is scheduled to welcome 11,000 competitors this year from 27 countries including Australia, Guatemala, Uganda, South Africa and New Zealand.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February displaced the athletes and coaches from their country, but they were able to continue training in other locations in Europe, concentrated in Bulgaria and Italy. Ukrainian competitors are entered in races in four different categories in this year's regatta: Men's and Women's Championship Eights, Men's Championship Double and a Youth Four. Sixteen of those athletes represented Ukraine at the World Rowing Championships in Racice, Czech Republic last week.
"Ukraine has a tremendous and proud history of rowing, and it was particularly important to us with all that they've experienced at home to include our global rowing teammates in this year's regatta," said HOCR Executive Director Fred Schoch. "They are an inspiration to us all."
Earlier this summer, the Regatta was approached by Andrii Ivanchuk, who was born in Ukraine and coaches the Simmons University rowing team. Ivanchuk proposed bringing the athletes to this year's event. In recent months, he has been in close communication with the youth and senior national teams. The Ukrainian team has worked to support themselves and their families while training outside Ukraine.
"It is so important for me to support Ukraine by helping them come to this year's Head Of The Charles," said Ivanchuk.
Ivanchuk himself rowed as a member of the Ukrainian Youth and Senior National Teams from 2001-2014 and has kept in contact with friends and former teammates still training for the Ukrainian National Team.
HOCR sponsor Delta Airlines has generously contributed plane tickets for the athletes to Boston, and the Cambridge Office of Tourism is helping to provide hotel rooms for the athletes in Cambridge close to the racecourse.
The HOCR expects tens of thousands of spectators to turn out on the banks of the three-mile course that runs from the Boston University Boathouse to Herter Park in Brighton.
ABOUT THE HEAD OF THE CHARLES® REGATTA
The Head Of The Charles Regatta was founded in 1965 and is the world's largest rowing race, regularly fielding more than 11,000 athletes from around the world to compete in a full line-up of sculling and sweep rowing events. The ages of competitors range from 17-year-old youth rowers to athletes in their 90s, and the event is seen as a must-attend race for world class and Olympian rowers. More than 1,800 volunteers ensure that the event runs smoothly. In 2019, the last year that the full regatta was held, an economic analysis determined that it generated more than $88 million in economic impact to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.