The Grand River Challenge

  • Hosted By: Grand Rapids Rowing Association

2011 GRChallenge info packet.pdf


The race information package is available as a pdf (above) or you can read online. (Below)  See venue for site information and a course map.

- OVERVIEW -

 

The Grand River Challenge is hosted by the Grand Rapids Rowing Association on the Grand River course.  The Grand River Challenge is intended to serve as a reliable, annual, medium-sized fall regatta for juniors, collegiate, recreational, and masters’ rowers.    The race launch location is at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids.   The race starts at the South end of Riverside Park (above the Ann Street bridge) and ends prior to the GRRA boathouse for the 3.6k distance of by the 5/3 Ballpark for the 5k distance.

 

- RACES -

Head race

A head race, rowed upstream, from picturesque Riverside Park boat launch #1, under the historic North Park bridge at the north side of the city, to finish locations near the baseball stadium in Comstock Park. The head race distance for novices (HS) and recreational rowers will be 3.6km and 5.0km for juniors, collegiate and master rowers. 

 

Race format for junior and collegiate novices

All novice eights (collegiate and HS) will be rowing by 6’s.     This format has been introduced to allow the novice crews the opportunity for a balanced row.   In addition, coaches will have the opportunity for continued development of technique in a low key race format.

 

- CONTACT INFORMATION -

 

                                                       Regatta Director

                                                            Mike Stemo

                                                    mike@grrowing.org

                                                         (616) 240-1831                                                

- FEES -



 


1x: $24;  2x, 2- : $36; 4x, 4+: $48; 8+: $64

Cap: $500 per organization

 

There is no fee for parking and/or storing shells at the GRRA boathouse.

 

- IMPORTANT DATES & DEADLINES -

 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Registration opens on RegattaCentral.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Registration closes, last day for registrations, scratches

Friday, September 30, 2010, 5 pm – 6:30 pm

Regatta registration open

Course available for practice, regatta site is open to trailers and for tent set up

Saturday, October 1, 2011 ***REGATTA***

7:30 am                      Regatta site opens

7:30am to 9:00am Race Registration

9 am                            Coach & Cox Meeting

10 am                          First race across start line

3 pm                            Expected last race


- RACE COURSE -

 

The head race course is on the Grand River in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The race is rowed upstream and is a buoyed course.  The start line is about 250m upstream from the Ann street bridge . The starter will be located on the West bank of the river. The course is upstream, ON THE WEST SIDE of the RIVER, bends approximately 45 degrees to starboard before bending back to port to pass under a series of two bridges (I-96 and North Park Street). For crews rowing the shorter distance (3.6k) the finish area is prior to the docks for the GRRA boathouse; Crews rowing the longer distance will continue north past the boathouse to a series of wires stretching over the river, directly adjacent to a baseball stadium. An observation deck on the west bank will serve as the finish line.


 


- TRAILER PARKING and LAUNCH SITE -

 

For those crews requiring overnight parking, trailers can be located at the GRRA boathouse on Friday night between 5 and 8 pm.  (If late arrival is required, please notify the Regatta Director.)  Trailers can be moved to the regatta site stating at 7:30am on Saturday morning. The regatta committee will provide security for shells stored at the boathouse, but cannot guarantee the safety of all equipment.

 

- ENTRIES -

 

All competitors may participate in multiple events. Competitors are responsible for allowing sufficient time to race in one event, land, re-queue, and launch in time for an additional event.

 

Competitors try to land or launch based on bow numbers.  Please make best efforts to avoid hot-seating of athletes and/or boats. The Regatta Committee accepts no responsibility for missed start times and will not issue refunds on that basis.

 

Entries must be received no later than Tuesday, September 27 . Entries are to be submitted online via www.regattacentral.com. No mailed entries will be accepted. Registration is open from Tuesday, September 7 to Tuesday, September 27.  Late entries can be requested and, if accepted, are subject to a $20 fee per entry.

 

Masters competitors must submit date(s) of birth for all competitors during the entry process. Master Crews with missing or incomplete date of birth information will race as a 27-year-old rower. The Regatta Committee reserves the right to limit the number of entries in any one event. Confirmed entries will be posted on the Regatta Central website.

 

 
 

 


- REGISTRATION -

 

Scullers and crew representatives must report to Regatta Registration at one of two times: Friday, September 30 from 5 - 8 PM or Saturday, October 1 from 7 - 10 AM.  All scratches must be reported at least one (1) hour prior to an event and no later than 11:00 a.m. on race day.

 

- SAFETY -

 

All shells must be equipped with a bow ball. Each set of shoes within the shell must be equipped with properly-secured heel tie-downs.

 

- REFUNDS -

 

The regatta committee will not refund scratches communicated to the regatta after the September 27, 2010 entry close date.


- RESULTS -

 

Results will be posted as they occur at the registration tent. Results will be unofficial until such time as the reports of the referees have been received and penalties assessed.

 

After the race, official results will be available on the Grand Rapids Rowing Association’s web site at www.grrowing.org, as well as other rowing websites such as RegattaCentral and Row2K.

 

-AWARDS –

 

Medals will be awarded based on the following criteria:

Events with 3 entries – First place medal

Events with 4 entries – First and 2nd place medal

Events with 5 or more entries – First, 2nd and 3rd place medals

 

 

- SCHEDULE -

 

Races begin at 10:00 am. Breaks and lunch are built into the schedule and will be used to get back on schedule as needed. A schedule of events is available on RegattaCentral. Please do not schedule the same equipment/people in races less than 60 minutes apart. This ensures that boats/crews have enough time to make the row to the start comfortably. Boats will not be allowed to row outside their scheduled times, unless directed to do so by officials.

 

If you wish to drop a boat from a race, please notify registration and the dockmaster at least 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the race.

 

- COACHES AND COXSWAINS MEETING -

 

The coaches and coxswains meeting is scheduled for 9:00 am .

 


- CLASSIFICATIONS -

 

The following definitions are used at this regatta:

 

§         Masters are 27 years of age or older

§         Junior rowers have been enrolled in high school in 2011, and are under 19 as of 12/31/11. 

§         Novice athletes are high school & college rowers in their first year of rowing. 

§         Recreational events are intended for first year and non-competitive adult rowers.  (Honor system)

 

 

- BOW MARKERS -

 

Bow markers will be distributed from a desk at the launch area. Bow markers must be returned at the conclusion of racing. A $10.00 charge will be assessed if the bow markers are not returned. All shells must have bow clips to race.

- HANDICAPS FOR MASTERS EVENTS -

 

Handicaps are figured on average age of the crew, not counting the coxswain. Handicaps will be assigned by age class. Rowers competing as masters who fail to provide ages for each rower in the boat will not be given any handicap.

 

- COLORS -

 

We ask that all members of a crew wear shirts of a uniform design and color to help officials in identifying crews.

 

- FIRST AID -

 

There will be a first aid kit in the registration tent. We expect to have a mobile EMS unit on site as well.

 

- PROTESTS -

 

Any protests must be filed on the water to a referee or to the dockmaster. Your team will be assessed a $25 fee for protests, although the fee will be returned if your protest is upheld. Protests will be forwarded to the head referee for consideration.

 

- PARTICIPANT LIABILITY -

 

Coaches and participants are reminded that participation in the regatta involves a moderate risk of injury and/or property damage. While the regatta organizers will take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of participants, officials and volunteers, participation in the regatta is at one’s own risk and responsibility for claims deriving from personal injury, damage or loss. While the regatta committee provides security for shells at the regatta site on Friday night, visiting crews are advised to take all reasonable precautions as the regatta committee cannot guarantee the safety of equipment.

 

- VIEWING -

 

The best places to view the head race are along the riverbend in Riverside Park, on the North Park Street bridge, or one of two observation docks north of the boathouse and accessed via the White Pine Trail, which runs north and south directly behind the boathouse.  The northernmost observation deck will be utilized by the finish line judges.

 

- SPORTSMANSHIP -

 

All participants, coaches, and spectators are expected to exhibit good sportsmanship. Disrespectful language or behavior may be subject to disqualification from the regatta.  

 


 

 

- REGULATION -

 

The Grand River Challenge is administered by the Grand Rapids Rowing Association. The regatta is not  registered as a USRowing-sanctioned event, although the USRowing Rules of Rowing are generally utilized. All junior athletes, including scholastic teams, are welcome at the regatta and are encouraged to participate.

The event is neither governed nor sanctioned by the Scholastic Rowing Association of Michigan.

Cell phones and other electronic external communication devices are not allowed in racing shells.

The Regatta Committee reserves the right to rule on any situations not specifically covered in these rules and assess penalties as appropriate.

 

- EVENT LIST -

 

The following events will be included in the regatta. The event schedule is subject to change, depending on the number of entries in each event. The final event schedule will be posted on Regatta Central and on the Grand Rapids Rowing Association’s website, www.grrowing.org, during the week before the event, and will be made available to coaches and competitors at the regatta. Events will likely be scratched if there are less than three entries.

 

Event Categories (See Regatta Central for times and listing of events)

 

Womens’ Junior 1x, 2x, 4+, 8+

Womens’ Junior Novice 8+

Mens’ Junior 1x, 2x, 4+, 8+

Mens’ Junior Novice 8+

Womens’ Masters 1x, 2x, 4+, 4x

Mens’ Masters 1x, 2x, 4+, 4x

Womens’ Recreational 4+, 8+

Mens’ Recreational 4+, 8+

Womens’ Collegiate  2-, 4+, 8+

Mens’ Collegiate 2-, 4+, 8+

Mixed Open 8+

Mixed Masters 2x

 

 


THE HEAD RACE

 

- LAUNCHING -

 

We will be calling races to launch, but it is the crew’s responsibility to launch on time. Have boats ready to launch (with correct bow markers) at least 30 minutes prior to the official race start time. All crews should plan on a 1.5km downstream row to the start. As a general rule, departing boats will have priority over arriving boats.  There will be a dockmaster to help coordinate traffic, but please respect other teams and move quickly and efficiently.   Please note that there are NO docks and all crews will be wet launching their boats.


- HOT SEATING -

 

If your boat requires hot seating for a crew right after your race, check with the dockmaster before approaching the launch/retrieval area.  The  dockmaster will make every effort to give you priority docking, but safety and fairness are their primary responsibilities. Coaches and team members on shore should make sure the hot-seating rowers are ready in the launch area.

- TRAFFIC PATTERN -

 

·         Yellow buoys will be used to separate downstream (warm-up/return) and upstream (racing) traffic. All boats must keep the yellow buoys to their starboard side at all times, whether warming up or racing.

 

·        Yellow buoys demarcate the race course. Oars may cross the buoy line, but the hull may not cross. Anytime a hull violates the buoy line, a 10-second penalty will be assessed.    NOTE: The race course is upstream and on the West side of the river.    ALL returning boat traffic MUST stay on the East side of the river.   General race course rule: Port oars should be close to shore.

 

·         Red buoys mark shallow areas and submerged hazards. They are self enforcing. We make every effort to mark all hazards, but the river changes constantly. Crowd the red buoys at your own risk.

 

·         The bridge span shells should use will be marked with buoys.

 

- BRIDGE PROFILES -

 

 


- STARTING -

 

·         Be sure you have firmly attached your correct bow marker. (They are pre-assigned and are included in your club race packet from the registration tent).

·         Be at the start at least 5 minutes before the official start time of your race. (The distance to the start from the launch area is approximately 1.5 km, and may take 10-15 minutes at a warm-up pace.)

·         This is a flying start, in single file. Line up in order of your bow marker numbers, from lowest to highest. (A 10-second penalty may be assessed for boats missing their place in the starting order or interfering with crews approaching the start. Boats may be assessed a 60-second penalty for having an incorrect bow marker or no bow marker.)

·         As directed by the starter or marshal, cross the starting line at race pace about 20 seconds behind the preceding boat.  


- RACING RULES -

 

·         See the “Traffic Pattern” guidelines for course boundaries and penalties.

·         Boats racing have the right of way over all other boats. Any non-racing boat that interferes with a race will be subject to a 30-second penalty or possible exclusion from its race.

·         An overtaking boat is considered to be overtaking when it moves to within a boat length of the boat it’s approaching. When passing another boat, the overtaking boat has the right of way, but is obliged to make it apparent to the boat ahead on which side it wishes to pass. Generally, overtaking boats should pass on the starboard side. The boat being overtaken must yield room to the overtaking boat, usually on the outside of a corner. If, in the opinion of the officials, insufficient room is given, a 30-second penalty may be assessed. However, no overtaking boat should press its right of way to the point of collision.

·         Racing boats interfering with other racing boats will be subject to a 30-second penalty or possible exclusion from the race.

·         If one or more rowers is ejected from a boat during a race, the affected crew must stop and remain with those individuals until all are safely out of the water or official safety help arrives.

·         Respect for the safety of other competitors and equipment must be shown at all times. If, in the opinion of the officials, a crew is behaving in a dangerous or reckless manner, that crew may be excluded from its race.


- DIRECTIONS AND PARKING –

(For mapping purposes to the main athlete/parking entrance, please use 3200 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49505.)

From the south:

Take US-131 North towards Grand Rapids/Cadillac.

Take Exit 88 - Ann Street. The exit ramp curves to the right quite sharply, so please take the exit slowly.

At the light, turn left on Ann Street and cross the Grand River.

At the first light after the river, turn left onto Monroe Avenue. Note: The flashing red light at this intersection changes directly into a red light. There is a green turn arrow before the rest of the Ann Street traffic can go, not after.

Head north on Monroe Avenue to Riverside Park. Trailers should enter at the main entrance, at the intersection of Monroe and Guild Street. Everyone else should enter at the northernmost entrance to Riverside Park, on the left, past the baseball diamonds (on left) and the Veteran's Home (on right). Overflow parking is available at the other park entrances (by the baseball diamonds, at the main park entrance, or at the far south end of the park) or on neighborhood streets.

From the north:

Take US-131 South towards Grand Rapids.

Take Exit 88 - Ann Street.

At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto Turner Avenue, and head south to the Ann Street light. Turn left on Ann Street. Continue east across the Grand River.

At the first light after the river, turn left onto Monroe Avenue. Note: The flashing red light at this intersection changes directly into a red light. There is a green turn arrow before the rest of the Ann Street traffic can go, not after.

Head north on Monroe Avenue to Riverside Park. Trailers should enter at the main entrance, at the intersection of Monroe and Guild Street. Everyone else should enter at the northernmost entrance to Riverside Park, on the left, past the baseball diamonds (on left) and the Veteran's Home (on right). Overflow parking is available at the other park entrances (by the baseball diamonds, at the main park entrance, or at the far south end of the park) or on neighborhood streets.

 

From the east:

Take Interstate 96 west to exit 31A, US-131 south (towards 'Grand Rapids/Kalamazoo').  Take Exit 88 - Ann Street and than follow directions noted above when coming from the North.

From the west:

Take Interstate 94 east to I-196 east (Exit 34) towards Grand Rapids/Holland. At exit 77A, take US-131 North toward Cadillac.

In two exits, take Exit 88 - Ann Street. The exit ramp curves to the right quite sharply, so please take the exit slowly.   Continue following directions if coming from the South.

 


 

 

 

 


- LODGING & FOOD -


 

Radisson Grand Rapids Riverfront Hotel

270 Ann Street Northwest

Grand Rapids, MI 49504

(616) 363-9001

http://www.radisson.com/hotels/migrapno

 

 

Motel 6, Grand Rapids North

777 3 Mile Rd NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49544

(616) 784-9377

http://www.motel6.com/reservations/motel_detail.aspx?num=0248

 

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Grand Rapids North

358 River Ridge Dr. NW

Walker, MI 49544

(616) 647-4100

http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/hotel/grrds

 

Springhill Suites, Grand Rapids North

450 Center Dr NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49544

(616) 785-1600

http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/grrsh-springhill-suites-grand-rapids-north/

 

 

Hampton Inn, Grand Rapids North

500 Center Dr. NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49544

(616) 647-1000

http://hamptoninn.hilton.com/en/hp/hotels/index.jhtml?ctyhocn=GRRAPHX

 

Comfort Suites, Comstock Park

350 Dodge St. NE

Comstock Park, MI 49321

(616) 785-7899

http://www.comfortsuites.com/hotel-comstock_park-michigan-MI235

 

Grand Inn

3221 Plainfield Ave NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49525

(616) 363-0800

http://grandinngr.com/

 

 

 

Holiday Inn – Downtown Grand Rapids

310 Pearl St NW

Grand Rapids, MI 49504

(616) 235-7611

http://www.holidayinn.com/hotels/us/en/grand-rapids/grrpe/hoteldetail

 


More hotel options can be found at http://www.visitgrandrapids.org/stay-hotels.php.

 

We have arranged for a limited amount of free housing available for teams only. Please contact the Regatta Director as soon as possible if you would like to be considered for such an arrangement.

 

A lot of great food options can be found at http://tinyurl.com/foodinGR

(The closest options are “Downtown”, in the “Creston” neighborhood, in “Alpine,” or in “Plainfield Township”)