Head of the Lake

  • Hosted By: Lake Washington Rowing Club
  • 2016 Registered Regatta
HOTL 2008 is a USRowing-registered regatta with USRowing officials. The 2008 Rules of Boat Racing will apply unless otherwise stated.

Entry is limited to one race per participant.


· Entries shall be submitted online at RegattaCentral (click on "Registration Form" link)

· Registration closes October 26th and NO ENTRIES will be accepted after that date.

· No entries will be accepted on the day of the race; no events will be combined on the day of the race regardless of scratches


·  All participants must sign a waiver. (Rowing Canada members may use the USRowing waiver.)

·  Online waivers can be submitted through RegattaCentral and must be submitted before the regatta registration deadline. HOTL is registered with USRowing and accepts the once-a-year USRowing waiver. To submit a waiver online, follow the instructions located at the "Waiver" link

·  As an alternative to the online waiver, athletes may also send a signed, printed copy of the waiver directly to the regatta at the following address: Attn: Waiver Compliance, Head of the Lake, 910 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103


· All crews need to have current Organizational Membership to USRowing or CARA.  Independent rowers must be members in good standing with USRowing or CARA.

· Any crew/coxswain/sculler showing a disregard for safety or failing to follow the instructions of USRowing Referees, Marshals or Dock Masters at any time during the HOTL Event will be given a 60-second penalty and may be disqualified.

· Respect for the safety of other competitors and their equipment must be observed at all times.

· Bow balls are required.  Any boat without a bow ball will not be allowed on the course per 2008 USRowing Rule 3-105:  Tennis balls, duct tape, cracked or old bow balls and anything other than a US manufactuerers bow ball are not allowed.

· All bow-coxed boats must comply with 2008 USRowing Rule 3-110 regarding the size of opening for entering and exiting the boat by the coxswain.

· GPS systems or any electronic devices capable of sending or receiving information from an outside source will not be allowed.  Any crew or sculler found to have such a device in their shell at any time during the event, regardless of whether it is actually used, will be disqualified. (2008 USRowing Rule 3-106)

· Shoes must have heel tie-downs restricting heel lift to 3 inches (7.5 cm). (2008 USRowing Rule 3-109)

· Crews are expected to wear matching race shirts or tops.

Mandatory Pre-Race Meeting

One representative from each boat must attend: 6 AM, November 9, at the Football Assembly Room at Hec Edmundon Pavilion. Please be at Conibear Shell House by 5:45AM for all to walk over to the assembly room together. Attendance will be taken.


· All crews will receive launching and landing directions from dock masters at Conibear Shell House, Waterfront Activity Center, Lake Washington Rowing Club and Pocock Rowing Center.

· Launching will be in the order of events.

· Please arrange for assistants to carry oars and collect shoes.  Your time allowed on the dock will be limited.


·  The first event (Men's Collegiate/Open 8) is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., with boats starting at approximately 15-second intervals.

·  Please be in the Lake Union staging area 10 minutes prior to your event start time. Crews are encourage to launch one hour prior to start time.

·  Prepare to start in bow-number order, and follow the instructions of the Marshals and Referees.  Failure to follow instructions may result in disqualification.

· Crews arriving late for their start may face disqualification.  Directions of the starter must be followed at all times.

· Crews without proper bow numbers will be disqualified.

Conduct of the Race

The Head of the Lake is a three-mile race with a wide, three-point buoyed turn near the finish. The turn must be made with the entire crew rowing. If you "hold down" at any time during the turn, you will be disqualified. A map of the course is available at http://www.headofthelake.org/coursemap.html, or download a colored map (PDF).

The no-passing zone has been eliminated.  Passing will be allowed at any point during the race as long as the following guidelines are followed:

Responsibilities of the overtaking boat (passer)

  1. In passing situations, the overtaking boat has right of way (on the side of its choice) if a safe pass can be accomplished. If a pass is attempted, and there is not adequate room nor time to perform the pass, the overtaking boat must delay the act of passing until it is safe to do so.  Failure to do so may result in the overtaking boat being disqualified.
  2. The passer must allow time for the overtaken boat to yield and stay on the race course. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
  3. If a Passer causes a collision during passing resulting in damage, interlocking boats or injury, the Passer will be disqualified.

Responsibilities of the boat being overtaken

· In passing situations, the overtaken boat must yield and give suitable room to the overtaking boat (Passer) on the side chosen by the overtaking boat, if a safe pass can be accomplished.

· Failure of an overtaken boat to immediately yield the line selected by a passer capable of making a safe pass will result in disqualification.

· Movement to yield must begin when the passer is within one-half length of open water of the overtaken boat.

Awarding of Medals

· 1st, 2nd and 3rd place medals will be awarded at the awarded upstairs at Conibear Shell House. Please see the race schedule for times of the awards ceremonies.

· For races with four or fewer entries, 1st and 2nd places only will be awarded.

· For races with three or fewer entries, 1st place only will be awarded.

· Masters races  will be awarded medals based on the classifications A - I


The Head of the Lake regatta committee wants you to have a fun and safe regatta and to that end,the following safety measures have been put into effect to help assure asuccessful experience for you here in Seattle.

First Aid: Firstaid and/or medical emergencies will be provided by Medic One which will belocated at the finish line at Conibear Shellhouse.

On-Water Emergencies:All crews have been provided with a copy of the Athlete Safety and ShellRe-entry Plan in their registration packets. In addition, all launch driver, referees,Harbor Patrol and key regatta personnel have received a copy of the Race DayProtocol Safety Plan. Along the course there are seven (7) pull-out areas andseven (7) emergency areas identified. Further details will be covered at thecoach/coxswain meeting.

The Seattle HarborPatrol will have three (3) boats located at the start area in Lake Union,the waterway in Portage Bay and at the east end of Montlake Cut in Union Bay.

All regatta personnel will have access to the regatta phone system for constantcommunication in case of an emergency.

Course Decision:Depending on weather conditions, it will be decided by regatta officials on the morning of racing at the coach/coxswainmeeting which course will be used. Please refer to the regatta map in yourregistration packets. All decisions will be in consideration for athlete safety.

Attire: Seattleweather in early to mid-November is typically very wet and cold so it is bestto dress in layers and bring a change of clothing. Remember to plan for all weather conditions. As an athlete on the water it is highly recommended that you bring a jacket or fleece, hat andlong pants in the boat with you (plastic bags work wonders!) and don’t beafraid to use your extra clothing! Use common sense and dress appropriately!