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8 Fun Facts for Head of the Charles Regatta Weekend!

Two crews row under weeks footbridge as spectators look on. A small plane tows a banner reading "1-800-Trust Fund."
The combined net worth of the people in this picture is greater than the GDP of most countries

Fall is in the air and oars are in the water! See, it’s that special time of year again when the leaves change, but the spectator’s political opinions never do! In honor of the most in-crew-dible weekend of the year, here are 8 fun facts about HOCR and rowing in general!

1. Dugout canoes, the great-great grandfather of today’s slick crew shells, are the oldest vehicle type in the world, with examples dating over 8000 years ago! Splish Splash!

2. Today’s crew shells can be made from carbon fiber and feature hydrophobic coats! Slip, Slide, Zoom! Wowzers these boats have come a long way, even if representation in their sport hasn’t!

3. The Head of the Charles is the Largest Regatta in the world with over 11000 Rowers! Woo Wee! That is an oar-ful lot of great news for spectators!

4. Harvard actually has two boathouses! There’s a men’s boathouse, which is exclusively for the men’s varsity team, and also a women’s boathouse, which is for the women’s varsity team, plus intramural crew, house crew, construction crews, the general public and pretty much anyone who feels like using it! Those ladies are such great hostesses! 

5. The US has had a rowing team in the Olympics every Olympics since 1900! Many of the racers representing the old Red, White, and Blue in 2024 will be at the regatta this weekend!

6. Due to the odds being purposely stacked against them, only 5 Black rowers have been able to represent Team USA in its 120 year history! And we are super proud of them! Crew *hearts* diversity for sure! That 5 is counting both men and women. Seriously.

7. Head of the Charles is a grassroots effort and would not be possible without the hard work, talent and dedication of our thousands of unpaid volunteers, along with our generous local sponsors, Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines, like, a butt-load of investment banks, and the generational wealth of all of the rowers here! 

8. There’s a good chance one of the people rowing will be your boss one day! With fast-tracked admission to prestigious universities, built-in membership to secret societies, and firm handshakes (built by hours hard at work on the water), they are off to the races in more ways than one!

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