BOSTON (AP) — Boston Mayor Marty Walsh has welcomed participants to the Head of the Charles regatta with the christening of a scull on City Hall Plaza.

The two-day rowing competition is set to begin next Saturday. Organizers say the event is expected to attract 11,000 athletes from 32 countries, together with more than 400,000 spectators.

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Saturday’s ceremonial christening of Brooks Brothers’ scull marks the mayor’s first official welcoming of the regatta since taking office in January.

The 50th annual event will take place on a three-mile course in the Charles River between Cambridge and Boston.

Competitors in the regatta race against the clock, leaving the starting line in single file, approximately 15 seconds apart.

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The rowing competition attracts youth, collegiate, masters, international, world champion and Olympic athletes competing in 61 events.

(Courtesy photo Head Of The Charles Regatta)

(Courtesy photo Head Of The Charles Regatta)

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