Head of the Mississippi

  • Hosted By: Minneapolis Rowing Club
  • 2016 Registered Regatta



Local Racing Rules 



At River Flats Park:

We will call boats to the water one hour prior to racing; but it is up to you to allow yourself enough time and to have bow numbers and boats ready at the start. Plan on taking at least 25 minutes to row to the warm up area.



Launch and head down the East side of the river. Stay to the Port Shore and watch for oncoming racers.  Keep all RED Chanel Markers to your Starboard side - EXCEPT between the Railroad Bridge and Lake Street Bridge!! Very important to then move out and keep RED channel markers just to the Port Side and GREEN Channel markers just prior to Lake Street Bridge (2) to your Starboard side.

Continue through Lake Street Bridge and watch for boats coming across from Minneapolis Rowing Club.

Starting area is the Lake Street Bridge at Minneapolis Rowing Club.

After passing the Start you may row down to last Marshal and then circle clock wise in warm up area. Please pay attention to other boats and start moving to starting marshal as called or by time or with other boats in your event in order.


Follow the launch shute past Lake Street Bridge then cross to warm up area.  Pay attention to boats coming up landing shute and do not impede boats coming up to staging area to start race. Pay attention and move slowly to warm up area.


The race is run up the West side of the river (opposite of normal traffic pattern).

There are three bridges and 12 permanent channel navigational buoys on the course, as indicated on the course map. Any incidental hazards, such as snags or shallow areas, will be marked or have a safety launch and driver posted at them. Red  Course marker buoys need to stay on your starboard side,  White Course buoys will mark hazards on the port side


Bridges & Channel Markers:

You will stay on the left or port side of the channel for the entire course. All navigation markers except one will need to pass on your right or starboard side. The final green marker needs to pass on your port side. This marker is located at the end of the cement wall just as the river curves toward port and heads to the Washington ave Bridge. There will be white warning markers ahead of this navigation green marker.

The 1st bridge once on the course will be the Railroad bridge. pass throuogh th left side of the central span or the left span. The 2nd bridge  (Franklin Ave) pass through the left side of the central span.  The 3rd bridge (I 94) you can pass through the left side of the central span or the left span. The final bridge ( Washington Ave) is just below the finish line. All boats need to go thru the left span.

Course marker buoy will be placed Oct 1. River traffic pattern will be the same as race day on Oct 2nd.


Pay attention Crews warming up from the River Flats will be on the opposite side of the river.  




Continue through FINISH. Do not stop right after finish! Continue to next red buoy and then begin turn to the East side and row carefully back to dock. Listen for directions from Finish Marshal and Dock Master.


Follow directions above for "launching from River Flats" all the way though Lake Street Bridge.  Then circle and come to landing shute - pay attention to not impede racers starting and boats launching.  If you are hot seating make plans to hot seat from River Flats Dock to assure you make the race.


If your boat requires 'hot seating' please let the dock master know and have those going into boat ready or the boat will have to be pulled off the dock. Talk to the other crews and let them know you are hot seating for priority docking.


See Traffic pattern.

Boats racing have the right away over all other boats. Any non racing boat that interferes with a race will be subject to a 30 second penalty or exclusion.

An overtaking boat is considered to be overtaking when it moves to within a boat length of the boats it is 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 is wishes to pass. The boat being overtaken must yield room to the overtaking boat, usually on the outside. However, no overtaking boat should press its right of way to the point of collision. Racing boats, by judgment of the officials, can not interfere with other racers without a penalty or exclusion.


Note: the Regatta Chair and Head Official reserves the rights to rule on any situations not specifically covered in these rules and assess penalties as appropriate.








Regatta Information and Schedule

Minneapolis Rowing Club is pleased to welcome you to the 32nd Head of the Mississippi Regatta October 2rd 2011.

REGISTRATION – Will be available on Regatta Central beginning September https://www.regattacentral.com/index.jsp This is the only way you can register for races for the HOTM. Entries close Friday September 23.

STAGING AREA: Trailer and shells can be parked at River Flats Park – see directions – next to the University of Minnesota’s Boat House. Security will be provided beginning at 7:00 PM on Saturday. There is no parking of trailers at Minneapolis Rowing Club.

RACE COURSE: The race is rowed upstream and has several bridges, channel markers and other obstacles to be aware of. It is a beautiful course beginning at Minneapolis Rowing Club and ending aprox. 3 miles up stream. Please refer to the local rules for further information.

COACHES & COXSWAINS MEETING: A representative from each club/University racing needs to attend ONE of the meetings. At the River Flats Park – 7:30 AM OR Minneapolis Rowing Club – 8:00 AM.

SCHEDULE: Races begin at 9:00 AM. Watch your time and allow at least 30 minutes to row to the starting area from River Flats Park. Please be aware of your time. Boats late to the line will not be allowed to race unless directed to do so by the officials. If you wish to add a boat or change ages in a boat please do so at least one hour prior to scheduled race time. If you wish to scratch a boat please do so ASAP.

BOW & BACK LETTERS/ NUMBERS: Are provided in your packet.


“Masters”: Rowers who have attained or will attain the age of 27 during the calendar year. A competitor’s age is determined as of December 31 or the current calendar year.

“Juniors”: High school or community rowing programs where the oldest rower will not have attained the age of 19 by the end of the calendar year in which the race occurs.

“Novice/Freshman”: Any rower who began rowing May 2011 or later and/or is in their first year of rowing at the collegiate level.

“Open/Collegiate”: Any rower or crew representing a college or university, either as a club or varsity sport, and any non-collegiate rower or crew not otherwise classified or affiliated. NOTE: No Junior may cox or row in a boat entered in any collegiate events.

HANDICAPS FOR MASTER”S EVENTS: Handicaps are based on the standard USRA rules. If you fail to provide ages for each rower on Regatta Central registration they will be assigned the age of 27 and averaged at that.

PROTESTS: Any protest can be made it writing at the registration area with 60 minutes of race finish. A $25 protest fee must accompany a written protest note. The $25 will be returned if protest is upheld.

AWARDS: Will be given for first place finishers that have at least 2 entries.

EVENT DAY PARKING: There is pay box parking at the River Flats Park. Once full there are several pay lots in the area and street parking above the River Flats Park (look for stairs to come back down). All meters are enforced so pay attention. NO PARKING will be allowed on the park grounds – except the trailer.

SCHEDULE: See Regatta Central

COURSE, WARM-UP and LANDING: See Local Racing Rules

OTHER CONCERNS: The Head of the Mississippi is the same day as the Twin Cities Marathon – so please plan your travel accordingly.