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This is the course 11,000 athletes will row for the Head of the Charles Regatta

The Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the world’s largest and foremost rowing events, launches this weekend. The event attracts more than 11,000 athletes—including Northeastern alumni, current varsity rowers, and future Northeastern student-athletes—as well as hundreds of thousands of spectators to the banks of the Charles River for the annual event that features 61 events over two days.

This interactive tour gives you a peek into the journey those athletes will have to take on Boston’s Charles River.

The Course

Overall, the race course stretches three miles, or 4800 meters, up the Charles River between Boston and Cambridge.

The Start Line

The race begins adjacent to Boston University’s DeWolfe Boathouse, near the Charles River Basin. Rowers quickly pass under the BU Bridge, as well as a railroad trestle, on their way to the course’s wide first turn.

River Street and Western Avenue

Known as the “Powerhouse Stretch,” boats reach top speeds as they pass under the bridges carrying River Street and Western Avenue.

Weeks Footbridge and Anderson Memorial Bridge

The halfway point, and the course’s sharpest turns, come between these two bridges, where collisions and close calls between boats are common. At the two-mile mark, rowers hug the Boston shore around the course’s biggest curve.

Eliot Bridge

Following that curve, rowers prepare for the home stretch, and spectators enjoy some of the best views on the river (especially at the Belmont Hill/Winsor dock on the Cambridge side).

Herter Park Finish Line

At the three-mile mark, rowers triumphantly cross the finish line between Herter Park and the Mt. Auburn Cemetery, just before Northeastern’s Henderson Boathouse. In 2017, UC-Berkeley’s men’s Championship Eights crew set a course record when they arrived here from the BU Bridge in 13 minutes and 27 seconds.

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