55th Head of the Charles Regatta held in Boston this weekend

BOSTON — A technical issue with the race's timing system left organizers nervous, but they say it was fixed ahead of the 55th Head of the Charles Regatta.

"It is, sort of, America's rowing Super Bowl," said Fred Schoch.

A sunny Saturday welcomed spectators and rowers to the 55th Head of the Charles Regatta. Thousands of people lined the river banks, sitting on bridges and soaking up every stroke.

Blair Evans stood next to his twins at the Buckingham Browne and Nichols boathouse, awaiting mom, Genevieve O'Connell, to glide by with her alumni in her first race since high school.

"As a new mom, we have 8-month-old twins who are going to be here to cheer her on today, so we're all very excited today to see her out on the water," he said.

Sure, it's fun to take in, but it's really the competitive nature of the races that gets many of the fans going.

Related: Meet the man kayaking 57 miles down the Charles River for a good cause

Duncan Free of Australia half cheering, half trash-talking a buddy still competing, in good fun, of course.

"Yeah you know, we like to give him a hard time," he said. "It's always good to see him doing well."

Experienced rowers are abundant, but Fred Schoch, the executive director of the race, says this sport is getting younger.

"We turn away 70% of the applications in the youth category, just because so many apply," Schoch said.

A new event could be added next year to make more room.

"We can probably add another 1,500 athletes next year by jiggering our start order," Schoch said.

The Head of The Charles continues Sunday morning.

Comments on this article