Head of the Housatonic

  • Hosted By New Haven Rowing Club
  • USRowing Registered

The first Head of the Housatonic was held in 1994, the same year that the New Haven Rowing Club moved into its brand new boathouse in Oxford, Connecticut.

The members of the club, mindful of their mission to help promote the sport of rowing, thought an October regatta on the Housatonic would be a good tuneup for local crews aiming for the Head of the Charles later in the month. With a lovely and placid 2.7 mile racecourse measured out, the Head of the Housatonic was launched.

From that modest beginning, the Head of the Hous has grown into one of the largest one-day regattas on the East Coast. Each year, some 700 crews and 2,000 athletes (and thousands more spectators) come together for the joy of competing along the gentle turns and stunning foliage of the Housatonic River valley.  Rowers from ages 15 to 80-something wend their way up the course, passing by Indian Well State Park and under ‘the wire’ on their way to the finish line at the NHRC boathouse.

The event has become a major test of fall strength for high school crews from four states, and also draws widely from the college, club and master’s rowing programs between Boston and Philadelphia. International competitors from Australia and other countries make a stop at the regatta as a Head of the Charles warmup, and there is always strong representation from Yale’s elite programs, located just downriver from the racecourse.