New Youth and Directors’ Challenge events to be added to the 52nd HOCR

Cambridge, MA – The Head Of The Charles® Regatta (HOCR), the world’s largest two-day rowing competition, is pleased to announce the addition of two new events and the expansion of Para Rowing events at the Fifty Second Race.  The 2016 Regatta will debut a new youth event, the quad with coxswain, and introduce the mixed eight to replace the mixed quad as a Directors’ Challenge event.

Youth Quad with Coxswain
The HOCR seeks to play a lead role in encouraging the growth of youth rowing in the United States and has introduced the Youth 4x+ to accommodate the increased demand for youth events.  While the Youth 8+ and 4+ possess the largest fields at the HOCR, 85 boats in each event, non-guaranteed entries must contend with the lowest acceptance rates of the Regatta.  As more youth programs apply for entry, the acceptance rate for non-guaranteed entries in events such as the Youth 4+ has decreased from 42% in 2012 to 25% for the 2015 Regatta.  The addition of the 4x+ will provide the opportunity for roughly 200 additional youth athletes to compete in 2016.

“The youth events are among the fastest growing and most competitive events at the Regatta,” according to Fred Schoch, the Executive Director. “These rowers and scullers represent the future of the sport and the Head Of The Charles Regatta provides a wonderful opportunity for them to compete on the same stage as the top collegiate athletes, national team members, and current Olympians.”

As with the addition of the Youth 1x in 2013, the HOCR has chosen to add the Youth 4x+ in a conscious effort to promote and expand sculling opportunities for youth rowers at the Regatta.  The 4x+ is found in both the United States and abroad as a training boat for youth scullers, but there is little opportunity to race in this boat class. The HOCR hopes that by providing a venue for 4x+, youth sculling programs will continue to expand in the United States, and that other top youth regattas may follow suit and include this event as part of their programming.

Para Rowing at the HOCR
After the success of the Inclusion 2x Exhibition in 2015, the 52nd HOCR will incorporate the boat class as part of the TA 2x event and expand the LTA 4+ field to contain Inclusion 4+.  Inclusion boats are crews where 50 percent of the athletes, excluding the coxswain, have a qualifying visual, physical, or intellectual impairment that substantially limits on or more major life activities.  The addition of Inclusion boats in the LTA 4+ will provide racing opportunities for Intellectually Disabled (ID) Para Athletes within the newly reclassified event.  “I am thrilled to see the Inclusion events move from exhibition to medal status,” said Ellen Minzner, CRI Director of Outreach and Coach of the US Paralympic LTA 4+.  “This will increase opportunities for high school and collegiate teams that will have significant long-term impact on our sport, and recruiting for our future Paralympic teams.”

Directors’ Challenge Mixed Eight                                    
The Mixed Eight will return to the HOCR after a 35 year hiatus.  Last raced in the early 1980s, the Mixed Eight will replace the Mixed Quad, providing an opportunity for sweep rowing in the Directors’ Challenge field.  Entries will be accepted on a first come first serve basis.


About the Head Of The Charles Regatta
Preparing for the 52nd race, the Head Of The Charles Regatta is the world’s largest two-day regatta, attracting more than 11,000 rowers and 400,000 spectators to the banks of the Charles River. Racing takes place on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23, between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The Regatta attracts youth, collegiate, masters, para-rowing, international, world champion, and Olympic athletes competing in 61 events. Follow HOCR on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Media Contact:
Kevin Flight, Elevate Communications: 617-861-3657,