You have experienced races on the Charles, and the reunion tents of schools and their alumni associations. Again in 2013 most spectators will be gathered from the races starting line to the mid-point near the Harvard Bridge.
Want to have an alternative exciting up-close family experience? Then you want to get to the Head of The Charles staging area (FALS – Finish And Launch Site) on Soldiers Field Road, across from the WBZ/Channel 4 studios.
Head of the Charles – FALS Area Map. Source: OpenStreetMap
It is quite a show in its own right, with the logistics of many hundreds of shells and thousands of rowers all trying to be at the right place at the right time. Here is where the equipment, the trailers, boats and oars are crammed row after row. Here where the crews hoist their shells over head and command them to the Charles edge and in perfect synchronization flip them into the water. Here is where the emotions of victory and defeat are close and intense.
Bring your camera. You will find many great photo opportunities.
Oars, By The Dozen: Source: At-Hand Guides
Main Street In The Staging Area: Source: At-Hand Guides
Oars Against Fall Sky: Source: At-Hand Guides
Ready – Source: At-Hand Guides
Best Vantage Point – Source: At-Hand Guides
Nearby and downstream, at the Finish Line, is an exhibition and vendor area: rowing & fitness consultants and products, boat builders, and numerous food vendors.
Come by on Friday, a day of practice. Racing is 8AM-5PM on both Saturday and Sunday.
Be vigilant and stay out of the way of crews, and coaches with critical timing issues and serious purposes. The eight shells at FALS are very large and heavy. Be aware of a shell or crew moving toward you and give way.
Shell – On The Move – Source: At-Hand Guides
Check the web site for additional detail. Harvard’s WELD boathouse – houses race sponsor exhibits.
We suggest parking to the South of Western Avenue. The Brighton Mills shopping center is a possibility. Also consider biking along the Charles to the area from upstream , or of walking.