Head Up the Creek

  • Hosted By: False Creek Rowing Club
  • Sanctioned by RCA and Rowing BC (2021)
  • Cancelled


Welcome to the False Creek Rowing Club's 10th Head Up The Creek regatta.

Staging from Vancouver's Vanier Park we welcome you to our Head Race on False Creek that will determine which crew is the City of Vancouver Rowing Champion.

Located at the mouth of False Creek, we acknowledge that our compound is located on the village of Senakw, within the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish First Nation.

There was no regatta in 2020, because of world events.

UPDATE September 30th, 2021

We are currently unable to host this regatta due to the number of vessels anchored within the navigation channel on False Creek. While the numbers and locations of anchored vessels change from day to day, the lack of active enforcement creates an unpredictable challenge to the events viability and safety of those involved. Please note that the Vancouver Police Department Marine Unit and the Coast Guard have been excellent partners in trying to find solutions to this situation.

Please sign up for updates through Regatta Central to learn of any changes as soon as they are made public.



The Regatta Organizers would like to remind everyone involved that participation in the Head Up The Creek regatta is optional.

In support of harm reduction goals laid out in the BC Provincial Health Orders that will come into effect in the middle of October, all competitors, coaches, volunteers and participant supporters are expected to be fully vaccinated with respect to Covid-19

It is expected that when each club notifies their membership of the regatta details that they then also notify potential participants of this requirement in advance (amongst other regatta details) and that those that participate will comply with our vaccination expectation.

During the registration for the regatta, each club’s registrar(s) of entries will be asked to certify that all participants have been made aware that they may only be entered into the regatta if they are fully vaccinated. 

In the event that the organizers cannot provide assurances to our volunteers and participants that the event will be held safely for this or any reason, the regatta will be cancelled and to the extent possible, fees will be refunded.

Expected Questions:
Is the club registrar responsible for making sure that those being registered are fully vaccinated?
•    No: the registrar is only confirming that the participants have been told that they need to be fully vaccinated prior to registration.

Are we putting people in a position to disclose their vaccination status?
•    In that the people being registered will therefore be considered vaccinated, yes.

What about people that do not attend?
•    There are lots of rowers that will not be attending the Head Up The Creek. Of the several thousand people who could potentially come to our regatta but choose not to, many if not most will be fully vaccinated – non-attendance is not a sign of vaccination status. Providing notice far enough in advance allows those that do not wish to declare their vaccination status, or for various reasons are not fully vaccinated to remain anonymous by not committing to a crew that expects to participate in the regatta.
I do not agree with how this is being handled. 
•    Public Health is a matter of balancing the obligations of an individual towards that society versus the rights of an individual within that society. You have the right to disagree, but this is our decision and as mentioned, attending the regatta is optional.
What if I lie about being vaccinated?
•    Please don’t. Those of you that are vaccinated are less likely to be hospitalized or die in the event that you become infected. With rapidly spreading variants, it is likely that infection rates for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will increase. If you are unvaccinated, you have a higher likelihood of being hospitalized or dying if you contract COVID-19. This obligation is to protect those people: vaccination is very effective against reducing symptoms while preventative quarantining is extremely effective at reducing transmission.
Is there anything else I should know?
•    Bringing about this confirmation also provides comfort to the many volunteers who put on this event, including medical first response, on water safety and the others who make this possible.


Event Schedule

  • 10:00 am Bow Person and Cox meeting at the top of the ramp by the map.
  • 10:20 am Chief Umpires meeting with Regatta Chair
  • 10:30 am Launch opens for para rowers.
  • 11:00 am Big Boats Launch OPENS - first flight
  • 11:30 am Big Boat Launch CLOSES - first flight
  • 11:30 am Small Boats Launch OPENS - first flight
  • 11:45 am Small Boats Launch CLOSES - first flight
  • 12 noon FIRST FLIGHT START: Big Boats first, Small Boats after.
  • 12:25 pm First Flight completes
  • 1:00 pm Big Boats Launch OPENS - second flight
  • 1:30 pm Big Boat Launch CLOSES - second flight
  • 1:30 pm Small Boats Launch OPENS - second flight
  • 1:45 pm Small Boats Launch CLOSES - second flight
  • 2:00 pm SECOND FLIGHT START: Big Boats first, Small Boats after.
  • 2:20 pm Second Flight completes
  • 3:00 pm Prizegiving!

Prize Groupings are as follows:

  1. Best performing Novice Crew: 8+, 4x, 4+
  2. Men 8+, Men 4x, Men 4+ - average boat age under 19
  3. Men 8+, Men 4x, Men 4+ - average boat age 19 and over
  4. Women 8+, Women 4x, Women 4+ - average boat age under 19
  5. Women 8+, Women 4x, Women 4+ - average boat age 19 and over
  6. Mixed 8+, Mixed 4x, Mixed 4+ - average boat age under 19
  7. Mixed 8+, Mixed 4x, Mixed 4+ - average boat age 19 and over
  8. Men 2x, Men 1x - average boat age under 19
  9. Men 2x, Men 1x - average boat age 19 and over
  10. Women 2x, Women 1x - average boat age under 19
  11. Women 2x, Women 1x - average boat age 19 and over
  12. Mixed 2x - average boat age under 19
  13. Mixed 2x - average boat age 19 and over
  14. Para entries

There are no handicaps within each prize grouping, with the exception of Group 1 (the best performing Novice crew compared to their expected time will be the winner in this category). Winners of Groups 1 through 7 receive a cake, Winners of groups 8 through 14 receive cupcakes. Everyone wins a sense of a job well done. 

There will also be recognition of crews that launch efficiently and those that dawdle. It's not that big a dock that we can't see you.

City of Vancouver Rowing Champion

The overall winner of the regatta is appointed the City of Vancouver Rowing Champion and get their names emblazoned on the perpetual trophy and get commemorative T-Shirts, as well as a cake. The selection of overall winner is determined by comparing predicted times loosely based on RCA Gold Standards (which account for gender and boat type) and RCA masters age handicapping (extended to younger rowers), by boat type, stated gender and age, able bodied and para status. And for 2020, we also take into account the turns your boats make and the impact that has on your speed.

Boat Classes and Entries

The race is open to 8+, 4+, 4x, 4x+, 2x and 1x entries. 4x+ entries should submit their entries under the 4x category. There are no pairs or straight four entries permited.

Each boat type is open to crews of any age from Under 15 to really really old. Crew age is based on crew average and there is no requirement for all members to be under a certain age. For example: a 26 year old racing with three 14 year olds is therefore in a boat with a boat average of 17, qualifying them as Youth or Under 19 crew for prize determination. They might also find parents who do not think highly of at least 1 person's actions waiting for them at the dock.

National Team members are welcome to row, but must row as part of a member club of RCA. 


Your bow balls must be at least the minimum size, well attached and functional. Heel ties may only allow the heel to rise up a maximum of 7 cm and you must be able to release your shoes with a single hand.

The waterway is not closed to other marine traffic and under the Transport Canada Vessel Operating Restriction Regulations, everyone has right of way over racing shells. However, it is October and we are working with the ferry operators to ensure a safe regatta.  

The weather is frequently cold at this time of year. Staying warm is more important than uniforms. We appreciate you displaying your club colours but please don't do so if it means you get cold. 

Ferries, barges and commercial traffic have right of way over racing vessels. Safety boats and course marshals will be assisting the ferry operators in charting safe courses during the event.

We aren't rowing in the snow this year. If there is a layer of snow like their was in 2017, the regatta will be cancelled.

If you fall in, get out of the water as fast as you can - get onto your boat at the very least. Rescued rowers will not be allowed to continue rowing. 


Boats will launch in order of start. The earlier you launch, the better chance you have of having a look at the course and seeing where the pirate fleet is anchored on the Creek. We will start the race on time. If you make an appearance after the other crews have started rowing and while other crews have started racing you may be placed at the end of the launch queue and no warm up for you. As boats can row up to the start while racing begins races may begin without you. Boats not presenting themselves to the start marshal within 1 minute of the last boat of the crews previously assembled in the marshalling area will be considered scratched.

Bow numbers will be handed out at the Control Commission. 

Scratching from your event: 

Please inform the control commission if you are not participating in your scheduled event. Your entry fees are forfeited, but there are no additional scratch fees.

Website http://www.falsecreekrowingclub.ca/hucr.php
Contact Simon Litherland
Email [email protected]
Phone 778-840-5748
Sanctioned by  
Chief Umpire/Referee Not yet posted
Juniors Yes
High School Yes
Middle School No
Collegiate Yes
Open Yes
Masters Yes
Elite Yes
Para Yes
Inclusion No
Entry Fees (CAD)
Standard Cost Early Cost Late Cost
1x $25.00 $20.00 $40.00
2x $50.00 $40.00 $80.00
4x/+ $100.00 $80.00 $160.00
8+ $160.00 $100.00 $320.00
RCA Seat Fee $3.50
BC Seat Fee $3.50
Plus taxes if applicable
Max entries 100 entries. This venue has a restriction on how many entries are permitted. Registration is closed when this cap is reach ( or the deadline passes, whichever occurs first.)