Today it was announced that the Head Of The Charles (HOCR) will not be held in-person on the Charles River this fall and instead a global remote event will take its place. Athletes will be able to compete by racing the length of the Head Of The Charles (4,702 meters) on their own body of water or on an erg.
The organisers said in a statement: “We know the fact that we will not be together in person will be disappointing to many of you. In making our decision, we evaluated a full range of options against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and USRowing guidelines and consulted with leading infectious disease physicians from Massachusetts General Hospital. Based on that analysis, the board of directors and the executive team of the Regatta concluded that they would be unable to run the world class in-person regatta that the rowing community has come to expect while keeping competitors, coaches, volunteers, spectators and vendors safe. We appreciate your patience and support as we move to a different format for 2020.”
The event’s Executive Director Fred Schoch said: “Our top priority has always been holding a regatta that is safe, competitive and fun. While we are deeply disappointed that health and safety conditions throughout the world prohibit us from doing that this year, our team is hard at work developing a global remote event to be held this October. Looking back, in 1996 we had to cancel the Regatta because of especially bad weather; at the time, it was heartbreaking because there was no other option. As I think about our plan for the fall, I believe we have an innovative approach that will give athletes from around the world an opportunity to compete and will also increase inclusivity since we will be able to increase the number of spots for competitors. We all look forward to hosting the Regatta on the Charles in 2021.”
HOCR say they have designed an event that will allow competitors to row 4,702 meters on their own body of water or on an erg in a way that fits best for their situation. They will announce a full line up of events, formats and racing rules by mid August with registration opening on September 1st.
HOCR also confirm that entries that were guaranteed for 2020 will roll over to 2021.