CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia rowing team opens its fall season at the world’s largest regatta, the Head of the Charles, in Boston on Sunday (Oct. 21).
The 54th edition of the Head of the Charles will feature 2,329 crews and 10,600 athletes representing 24 countries in 55 events. More than 300,000 spectators are expected to visit the Charles River over the two-day event.

The Cavaliers will have two boats competing in the Women’s Alumni Eights on Saturday (Oct. 20) and one boat competing in the Championship Eights race on Sunday (Oct. 21).
The Head of the Charles course is 5,000 meters along the Charles River, featuring seven bridges, multiple turns and passing in a head-race format. In head races, each crew starts single file about 10-15 seconds apart and the results are based on time. All three of the Cavaliers’ fall regattas follow this format, which differs from the spring season, where boats line up side-by-side and race down a straight 2,000-meter course.

On Saturday, 18 Cavalier alums, including Erin Briggs (2017), Georgia Ratcliff (2017), Lizzy Youngling (2015), Sam Casto (2016) and Kerry (Maher) Shaffer (2007), will comprise two boats that will compete in the Women’s Alumni Eights. The Alumni Eights race is set for 1:15 p.m.
UVA’s probable lineup for the Championship Eights race on Sunday (Oct. 21), which begins at 2:26 p.m., is Coxswain Izzi Weiss (Chicago, Ill.); Stroke: Emily Ashton (Albany, N.Y.); 7-Seat: Heidi Long (Buckinghamshire, England); 6-Seat: Alex Slabbert (Cos Cob, Conn.); 5-seat: Sophie Pennoyer (Hartford, Conn.); 4-seat: Georgia Gray (Seattle, Wash.); 3-seat: Star Davidson (Canterbury, N.Z.); 2-seat: Lizzie Trull (Wellesley, Mass.) and Bow: Reilly White (Wyckoff, N.J.).
Virginia’s Varsity Eight finished fourth among collegiate boats in the Championships Eights at last year’s HOCR. The Cavaliers were the top collegiate boat in the event for four consecutive years from 2011-14.

Fans can follow the Head of the Charles Regatta online at and @HOCR on Twitter.