Head of the Lake

  • Hosted By: Lake Washington Rowing Club
  • 2016 Registered Regatta

Thank you for joining us for the 2009 HEAD OF THE LAKE REGATTA.

Please read carefully as there is new information.
The most updated race schedule will be available at RegattaCentral.com


  • Entries shall be submitted online at RegattaCentral
  • 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 at the HOTL RegattaCentral Waiver link
  • As an alternative to the online waiver, athletes may also send a signed, printed copy of the waiver directly to the regatta and must be received before the regatta registration deadline 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 2009 USRowing Rule 3-105: Tennis balls, duct tape, cracked or old bow balls and anything other than a US manufacturers' bow ball are not allowed.
  • All bow-coxed boats must comply with 2009 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. (2009 USRowing Rule 3-106)
  • Shoes must have heel tie-downs restricting heel lift to 3 inches (7.5 cm). (2009 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 8, at the Football Assembly Room at Hec Edmundson Pavilion
  • Follow the signs (A-boards with arrows) from the SW corner of Conibear Shellhouse
  • Attendance will be taken.

Race Packets

  • Packets will be available at at LWRC from 3:00 - 8:00 PM on Saturday November 7
  • Included are number bibs to be worn on the backs of both the bow person (large number) and coxswain (small number) or chest of stroke in 2x and 1x. Crews without a proper LWRC bow number will be disqualified.
  • Bow number cards will be provided. Please return bow numbers to a dock volunteer after racing.


  • All crews will receive launching and landing directions from dock masters at Conibear Shell House, Waterfront Activity Center, Lake Washington Rowing Club, Pocock Rowing Center and Lake Union Crew Boathouse.
  • 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.
  • NEW for 2009! Only those crews currently established at the Pocock Rowing Center or Lake Union Crew will be allowed to launch from their respective locations.


  • The first event (Men's Collegiate/Open 8+ ) is scheduled to beginat 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.
  • Please look for other boats in your event and move into the starting chute together. Crews shall be responsible for maintaining their proper order, fo rmaintaining the proper interval between themselves and the other crews and for staying within the chute as they approach the starting line.Crews not maintaining their proper position may be delayed, moved to the end of the starting order, penalized, or excluded by the marshal and starter.
  • The start marshal will call crews through the chute one at a time.Wait for the command to begin accelerating up to the starting line. Do not begin moving towards the starting line until instructed to do so.

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.

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

Responsibilities of the overtaking boat (Passer)

  • 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. This is especially crucial when passing adjacent to the single-file warm-up lanes. If you proceed into the buoy line while racing and into the warm-up lanes during any part of the race, whether you are in the act of passing or if by passing, your force the overtaken boat over the buoy line into on-coming traffic, you (the Passer) will be disqualified.
  • A crew is deemed to be overtaking another crew when it has moved to within one length of open water of the crew ahead.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • NEW for 2009! Where buoys mark the boundaries of the course, a crew shall be penalized 60 seconds for each buoy that the crew passes incorrectly.

Awarding of Medals

NEW for 2009! In recognition and celebration of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest we will be awarding our regatta champions a stunning new award (medal) made of stamped glass to signify their achievement. These awards have been designed by a local artist and individually hand-crafted by a premier glass artisan.  We are excited to unveil this new award to establish a new tradition for this premier regatta.

Please check the race schedule for the times of the awards ceremonies. They will be held upstairs in Conibear Shellhouse. Masters races will be awarded first place medals based on individual or ongrouped* age divisions, A-I.  *Some age divisions may be combined due to lack of sufficient entries.