First Coast Head Race

  • Hosted By: Stanton Rowing Foundation
  • 2016 Registered Regatta

2010 First Coast Head Race Regatta Rules

Course:This course is a mirror image of the Head of the Charles; the skill required is very high.  This challenging three mile (4.8K) course begins on the St. Johns River, winds down the beautiful Arlington River, and passes under three bridges. This is not a course for novice coxswains. Residential neighborhoods and marshes protect the majority of the race waters.

A Course map defining traffic flow will be available at Registration and on the website.

Call of Events: All times are subject to change. Final times will be distributed to registered teams and posted at the Regatta Headquarters.  Events will be called 1 hour prior to the start of the race. It is the responsibility of the crew to be at the marshalling area prior to the published start time.  A crew that misses its correct order at the start may be penalized 10 seconds.  A crew that arrives at the start after their event has run shall row exhibition only, or be excluded from the race at the starter's discretion.

Changes to Events: Stay alert to the possibility of schedule changes. The regatta committee reserves the right to combine or cancel events based on the number of entries received, or changes in weather conditions.  The committee also reserves the right to delay or advance the starting times for any event.

Hot Seating: Allow a minimum of 2 hours for hot seating rowers or equipment.  Plan accordingly.  Crews late to the start may be penalized or disqualified.  (See Penalties)

Dock Area: The Dock master has absolute authority in the dock area and the course crossover area. Failure to follow instructions will result in assessed time penalties. There will be floating docks and a wet launch/landing area. Be prepared to launch or land at either site. The Organizing Committee will try to make sure the wet launch/landing area is clear of debris; however, please wear boat shoes to be safe.

All boats will be inspected prior to launching. Inspection will include bow balls, bow cards, and shoe tie downs. We will be following Rules of Rowing for the length of tie downs.  A boat that is entered in multiple events will be inspected each time it is launched.  All equipment adjustments must be made in the storage area prior to launching.

Team Launch/Land Support: No oars are to be staged in the launch area or left in the landing area.  Coaches and team members must support the launching and landing of each team boat.

Launching: Launching occurs at the race course Crossover Area between the second and third bridge (about 2 mile point). The dock master or official will inform you when and where to cross the course. Failure to follow the instructions will result in a time penalty.

Course Markers:  Orange buoys, yellow buoys, flags and banners mark the course. The bridge spans are marked on the columns or overhead (except the Mathews Bridge). Go between the marked columns and through the marked spans. Orange buoys to port and yellow buoys to starboard will form a chute at the approach to each bridge, and at the start and finish.  The orange buoys will be on the Coxswain's left (port side) and yellow buoys will be on the Coxswain's right (starboard side) for the entire course. Although the course itself moves from the port to the starboard shore between the 2nd (University) and 3rd (Cesery) bridges, the orange buoys will remain to port after the Cesery Bridge. Cutting or missing any Orange or Yellow buoys will result in an assessed time penalty of 30 seconds.

Starting:  There is a clockwise circle pattern in the warm-up area.  The Starter / Marshall will arrange the crews so that crews cross the starting line at approximately 10 second intervals.  Crews should remain near the Start Marshall to hear commands to the start line.  A crew must yield to another crew being summoned to the starting area. A crew that misses its correct order at the start may be penalized 10 seconds.  A crew that arrives at the start after their event has run shall row exhibition only, or be excluded from the race at the starter's discretion.

Right of Way:  A crew is deemed to be overtaking another crew when it has moved to within one length of open water of the crew ahead. On those portions of the course that are straight, a crew being overtaken shall move to the right and allow the overtaking crew to pass.  Where the course turns, a crew being overtaken shall move to the outside of the turn and allow the overtaking crew to pass along the shorter path.  Nevertheless, passing is not allowed, nor is the crew being overtaken required to yield, in cases where the overtaking crew's position clearly prevents safe passage or where there is insufficient room to yield.

Passing:  Passing is allowed along the entire course except the 90 degree turn by the Episcopal dock, or in any unsafe condition, such as the same bridge span.

Return:  Quickly clear the finish line, turn and hug the starboard shore. Remain in single file to the launch/landing site.  You will be directed to a landing spot.

Protests:  Protests for a race must be filed on water at the finish line with an official, no exceptions. You will have one hour from the end of your race to file the written protest with regatta headquarters (near registration) and pay the required $25 fee (cash only).