Masters Take on Head of the Charles

Boston, MA - Masters Rower and Co-Founder of PTCRC, Megan Gradek, traveled to Boston, MA to compete in the Head of the Charles Regatta. With over 2,200 entries and 790 clubs, the HOCR is the world’s largest two-day rowing event. It is also the largest Head Race in the United States. At the 53rd annual regatta, a very prestigious race, each event was 5,000m.

Highlighted area is the racing course for the Head of the Charles Regatta.

The HOCR race course is no route for beginners. The Charles River is known for its sharp turns, making navigation a bit of a challenge, especially in a single. It is important to have navigational skills in rowing both as a Coxswain and as a Bowman. Not only is it necessary for safety purposes, but also to stay inline with the course buoys. Crossing over buoys results in penalties which add anywhere from seconds all the way up to minutes onto the crew’s finishing time. Gradek got in some great navigational experience at the recent race, the Tail of the Tiger in Clemson, SC. Between being a returner to the HOCR, and the recent race, Gradek was feeling confident about her navigation.

Megan Gradek racing in the Senior Masters 1x (40-49) event.

A total of 30 entries raced in Gradek’s event, the Senior Masters 1x (40-49). Some of the best of the best come to race at the HOCR from all over the world. This meant there was certainly some tough competition out on the water. Gradek finished with a final time of (21:17.949), putting her in 7th place out of 30. Places 5-8 were within milliseconds of each other. 1st place in the event finished in (20:26.310).

The HOCR registration and entry is based off a lottery system. Once registration opens, crews and racers enter their boats in hopes of being randomly selected for an entry. Another way to receive an entry is a guaranteed entry which is given based off performance from the previous year’s regatta. Gradek’s 6th place finish during last year’s 52nd HOCR guaranteed her an entry for the 53rd. Due to Gradek’s 7th place finish this year, she will be given another guaranteed entry for next year’s 54th HOCR.

Peachtree City Rowing Club will be traveling to Chattanooga, TN on November 4th & 5th for the Head of the Hooch. This is PTCRC’s A race of the Fall 2017 racing season. Hooch is the 2nd largest Head Race in the United States. There will be as much as 80 boats in some events.