Head of the Lake

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

LWRC'S 2010 Head of the Lake Information



  • Entries shall be submitted online at RegattaCentral.com.
  • On-line waivers can be submitted through Regatta Central and must be submitted before the regatta registrations deadline.
  • Registration closes October 25th 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.
  • No one will be able to participate without a signed waiver; No exceptions!
  • Events with fewer than three entries may be combined with another event.


  • 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


  • This is a USRowing registered regatta. All crews need to have current Organizational Membership to USRowing or CARA. Independent rowers must be members in good standing with USRowing or CARA.
  • No novice rowers, coxswains or first-year school programs please.
  • 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 2010 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 2010 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. (2010 USRowing Rule 3-106)
  • Shoes must have heel tie-downs restricting heel lift to 3 inches (7.5 cm). (2010 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 7, at the Football Assembly Room at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
  • Follow the signs (A-boards with arrows) from the SW end of Conibear Shellhouse.
  • Attendance will be taken.
  • Choice of race course (A,B,or C) to be used will be determined at the pre-race meeting by the head referee and regatta officials. This decision will be final.

Race Packets:

  • Packets will be available at  LWRC from 3:00 ? 8:00 PM on Saturday November 6. Due to the increase of competitors for 2010 we STRONGLY urge you to pick up your packets on Saturday. 
  • Included are number bibs to be worn on the backs of both the bow person (large number) and coxswain (small number).  For bow loaders, 4x, 2x and 1x the large bow numbers shall be worn on the back of the bow peson or single sculler.  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.
  • NEW FOR 2010:  A regatta pamphlet will be provided in your information packets with detailed information regarding rules, starting and racing procedures, safety protocols and course maps.


  • 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.
  • Launching will be in the order of events.  Please allow your crews ample time.  Coaches/coxswains: bow balls and heel tie-downs will be checked by regatta personal before launching. If your equipment does not meet US Rowing safety standards you will be asked to move out of line for repair.
  • Please start launching immediately after the coxswain/coach meeting.  
  • Please arrange for assistants to carry oars and collect shoes. Your time allowed on the dock will be limited.  Please be courteous to your fellow competitors and make any adjustments and/or tie-in on the water.
  • Returning boats recover from the North dock (at dock masters discretion) only until all boats have launched.
  • Only those crews currently established at Pocock Rowing Center and Lake Union Crew will be allowed to launch from these locations.


  • The first event (Men's Collegiate/Open Eight) 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 encouraged 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, for maintaining the proper interval between it and other crews, and for staying within the chute as they approach the starting line. Crews not maintaining their proper position maybe be delayed, moved to the end of the starting order, penalized, or excluded by the marshal or starter.
  • The Start Marshall will call crews through the chute one at  a time. Wait for the command before beginning to accelerate up to the starting line.  Do not begin moving towards the starting line until instructed to do so.  Please refer to the regatta pamphlet for further instructions.

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 the HOTL Web site.

Where buoys mark the boundaries of the course, a crew shall be penalized 10 seconds for each buoy that the crew passes incorrectly.

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):

  • 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, you force the overtaken boat over the buoy line into on-coming traffic, you (the Passer) will be disqualified. Failure to do so may result in the overtaking boat being disqualified.
  • A crew is deemed to be overtaking another crew when it has moved to within one-half 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 a 30-second penalty.
  • 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 a 30-second penalty.
  • Movement to yield must begin when the passer is within one-half length of open water of the overtaken boat.
  • Penalties for other incidences of interference will be at the discretion of the referees.
  • Where buoys mark the boundaries of the course, a crew shall be penalized 60 seconds for each buoy that the crew passes incorrectly.


The warm-up lane extends from the entrance or Conibear Shellhouse in Union Bay to the eastside of Gas Works Park in Lake Union.  Crews should stay as far right (to starboard) as possible.  You may pass other crews while warming up except for the following two locations:

1)      Full length of the Montlake Cut (Waterfront Activities Center to UW Hospital).

2)      100 feet east of the University Bridge to the south end of Ivar's Restaurant/Dock.

(Please refer to the regatta map for no passing zones)


THE WARM-UP LANE IS SINGLE FILE ONLY!  Crews passing another crew in either of these locations while warming up will result in disqualification.  In addition, racing crews entering the warm-up lanes or crew warming up and entering the racing lanes will also face disqualification.  For further explanations and other important regatta information is it imperative you have a representative at the cox/coach meeting at 6:00 am on race day.

Awarding of Medals:

In recognition and celebration of the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest we will be awarding our regatta champions a stunning 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 class artisan.   Please check the final 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 on grouped* age divisions, A-I.  *Some age divisions may be combined due to lack of sufficient entries.

NEW FOR 2010:  The winners of the Championship Women's Eight event and Championship Men's Four event will receive an additional award sponsored by Pocock Racing Shells.


We want you to have a fun and safe regatta and to that end, the following safety measures have been put into effect to help assure a successful experience for you here in Seattle.

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

On-Water Emergencies: All crews have been provided with a copy of the Athlete Safety and Shell Re-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 Day Protocol Safety Plan. Along the course there are seven (7) pull-out areas and seven (7) emergency areas identified. Further details will be covered at the coach/coxswain meeting. A map will also be on display at the Regatta Information booth located upstairs in Conibear Shellhouse.

The Seattle Harbor Patrol 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 constant communication 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/coxswain meeting which course will be used. Please refer to the regatta map in your registration packets. All decisions will be in consideration for athlete safety.

Attire: Seattle weather in early to mid-November is typically very wet and cold so it is best to 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 and long pants in the boat with you (plastic bags work wonders!) and don?t be afraid to use your extra clothing! Use common sense and dress appropriately!