October 25, 2021
Since its inception in 1965, The Head of The Charles Regatta has attracted hundreds of thousands of rowers to the banks of the Charles River. Our very own Brian Jamieson founder and CTO has a history in these games, having won a silver medal in the quad sculls at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Brian also won silver in that event at the 1995 Pan American Games. He rowed at three World Championships, three times in the quad and once in the double sculls, but never graced the podium there. In 2016 he was inducted into the US Rowing Hall of Fame along with the entire 1996 quad sculls crew.
Brian explains: “It’s one of the largest rowing regattas in the world; typically, >= 220k spectators (mostly cheering, drinking, and partying on the banks). Almost 2000 participants racing in dozens of events including 1-person, 2-person, 4-person and 8 people boats. Events range from high schools and colleges, to the oldest of the old masters. The Masters events are broken up by decades (i.e., 30-somethings, 40-somethings, 50-somethings.) Yes, there are many 70-year old’s out there, and some amazing 80-somethings. Since the regatta was not held in 2020, this year people were extra anxious to get out. I was in the 50+ something single, it is called the Grand Master Single. I was not the only Olympian in the event, and the guy I lost to was not an Olympian – Russ Cone a Boston local. The race is a 3-mile race against the clock, run as a time trial. What this means is that (unlike collegiate an international rowing) it is not on a straight 2000-meter buoyed course with boats side by side. Rather, you make your way one after the other up a very twisty course with 6 bridges along the way. You are racing against the clock, again starting one after the other not straight across. The fastest people are typically seeded early but generally it’s mixed up and there is passing, turning, and crashing. Yes, people sometimes hit bridges, and often hit each other and clash oars. So, it’s mayhem, and in one sense people don’t take it that seriously. But on the other hand, there are a lot of competitive types out there, and it is also (like it was for me) the pinnacle of the fall racing season and thus I wanted to do well. Great weekend of reunions, seeing old friends and since I raced early, I was able to drink beer and spectate with the rest of the crowd on a beautiful New England weekend in Boston.”
If you want to see all the race stats: https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/results2/eventResults.jsp?job_id=6143&event_id=15