Fred Schoch will step down from the Head of the Charles in 2024, the regatta will announce Tuesday. The world’s largest regatta successfully completed its 58th year of competition earlier in October, featuring 2,599 crews racing across three days.
“Obviously it takes a lot of people to run that and I’ve just been lucky enough to be the face of it,” said Schoch, who has led the regatta for 33 years. “It’s been quite a journey, but it’s time to reset. I couldn’t be a prouder of the legacy that I’ve left.”
Schoch is an accomplished pioneer in the sport, proving that professional management of a rowing event can attract public attention, sponsorship, and commercial success from beyond the rowing community.
“Fred created an incredible destination regatta over the course of his tenure. He built our success through his advocacy and connections with sponsors, competitors and coaches, staff and volunteers,” said Tim Fulham, chair of the Head of the Charles’ board of directors. “He has been a true trailblazer in the commercial development of rowing. We are fortunate for Fred’s decades of dedication to the success of the regatta.”
Since 1965, the Head of the Charles has become the world’s largest rowing regatta. It is the third largest outdoor event in Boston, alongside the 4th of July and Boston Marathon.
“When I started with the regatta, it was a $300,000 event,” said Schoch, “and now it’s, you know, four-plus million.”
Schoch’s successor, to be named through an international search with TurnkeyZRG and Head of the Charles board members, will have big boots to fill and new challenges.
“As we think about our next Executive Director, we are seeking a leader who will join us in our commitment to running a world-class regatta and at the same time help us think proactively about the areas where we can continue to pioneer, grow, and improve,” said Fulham.
Since the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the regatta’s security and public safety costs have tripled and “we haven’t had a profitable regatta since before Covid,” said Schoch. “But the regatta’s in good shape in terms of mechanics because of our board of directors and race ops crew, they’re totally dialed-in.”
“Without putting anymore boats on the river, we’re sort of at capacity for now and we’ve got to figure out how to pay the bills going forward. We’re in a really strong position. I’ve built up the endowment over 30 years that would be the envy of almost any nonprofit.”
To continue reading…
Register for free to get limited access to the best reporting available.
Free accounts can read one story a month without paying.
Or subscribe to get unlimited access to the best reporting available.
To learn about group subscriptions, click here.
Already a subscriber? Login