USRowing Head Race National Championships

  • Hosted By: USRowing
  • 2016 Owned Regatta


2015 USRowing Head Race National Championships


Lowell, Massachusetts

October 3, 2015


USRowing and the Merrimac River Rowing Association are proud to present the inaugural USRowing Head Race National Championships. This regatta offers masters, youth and under 23 rowers a chance to compete for a national championship at the head race distance.


This year’s regatta will be run in conjunction with the Textile River Regatta. The Head Race National Championships competitors and Textile River Regatta competitors will compete on the same 5000m course for both events.


USRowing would like to thank Merrimac River Rowing Association, the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Lowell High School Crew, the Merrimac Convention and Visitor Bureau and all of the supporters and volunteers for helping to bring this regatta to life.


Venue Information:




500 Pawtucket Blvd

Lowell, MA 01854




For directions, go to





Practice will be available the following times:


Friday – 9:00am – 4:00pm (NO LAUNCHING AFTER 3:00PM), all boats must be off the water by 4:00pm, October 2


All crews must check-in with Control Commission when launching during practice times.


Hotel and City Information:


USRowing has partnered with EMC Venues to provide accommodation options for competitors travelling to the Head Race National Championships.


A variety of hotel options are available near the racing venue.


USRowing Membership:


The USRowing Head Race National Championships is a USRowing-owned event.

Each participant is required to be a current, “Championship” member of USRowing. Each participant must also have a signed waiver on file for 2015.


Each competing organization is required to be a current organizational member of USRowing.


Organizations and individuals can activate or renew their memberships by visiting or by calling the Membership Services Department at (800) 314-4769.


Memberships should be handled prior to arriving for the event. Any memberships completed on-site will include an additional $5 administrative fee.


If you have questions regarding the status of your organizational or individual memberships, please contact our Membership Services Department at (800) 314-4769 or [email protected]. We will be happy to provide a list of members and their member numbers, expiration dates and verified waivers.







USRowing waivers are available online. Please visit the Join/Renew page of the USRowing website or RegattaCentral to submit your online waiver.



Credentials will be issued to coaches or a team representative once registration is complete, membership and waiver information is verified, and all fees are paid in full.


Each competitor must report to the USRowing registration desk to secure his or her individual credential.


Each competitor will receive a wristband with his or her name and affiliation. Wristbands should not be removed until a competitor has completed all events for the regatta.


Competitors will be required to show credentials in order to pass through Control Commission and launch for racing sessions.


Lost Credentials


Lost credentials may be replaced at the USRowing registration table and are subject to a $10 administrative fee.




Master: A master is a competitor who has attained or will attain the age of 21 during the current calendar year. A competitor’s age is determined as of December 31 of the current calendar year, rounded down to the nearest whole number. A competitor thus becomes a master on January 1 of the year of his or her 21st birthday. A masters crew shall be comprised exclusively of masters rowers, but the coxswain need not be a master.

A rower who is a member of the current year’s national team shall not be eligible to compete in the current year at the Masters National Head Race Championships.


Youth- A Youth is a competitor who in the current calendar year does not attain the age of 19, or who is and has been continuously enrolled in secondary school as a full-time student seeking a diploma. A competitor thus ceases to be a Youth after December 31 of the year of his or her 18th birthday, or of the year in which he or she completes the 12th grade of secondary school, having been a full-time student, whichever is later.


Post Graduates: Per Rule 4-104 (a), a student must be working towards their first secondary school diploma, therefore, post graduate students who attain the age of 19 in the current calendar year are ineligible to compete.


U23- U23 is a competitor who in the current calendar year does not attain the age of 23. A competitor thus ceases to be a U23 after December 31 of the year of his or her 22nd birthday.


Entry Information:


No paper entries will be accepted for this event. All entries must be made online at RegattaCentral. Initial registration will be available beginning August 25, 2015, and ending Friday, September 25, 2015. No refunds will be given once the initial registration period has ended.


All entry fees must be paid in full by Friday, September 25, 2015. After this date, unpaid entries will be considered late entries and subject to the additional fees associated with such designation. Payment arrangements may be made by contacting [email protected] prior to the deadline.


Crews with an outstanding balance will not be allowed to compete until the balance is paid in full.


Entry Fees:


Boat Class


Late Entry Fees

(Applicable )














Entry fees become non-refundable on September 25, 2015.




Late Entries:


RegattaCentral will be open until September 27, 2015 to accept late entries. 

Those wishing to submit a late entry after September 27, 2015 must do so on site at the USRowing registration desk during registration hours. Registration will be open on Friday, October 2, 2015 from 2:00-5:00pm.


After the close of initial registration, late entries may be accepted in events where additional entries will not exceed reasonable time allotments for each event.


All late entries must include complete line-ups with birth dates.




Entries may be scratched without penalty until the end of the initial registration period on September 25, 2015.


Beginning September 26, 2015, no refunds will be given for entries that are scratched.


E-mail notification will be accepted until the Coaches, Coxswains, and Blind Boats Meeting.

A $50 scratch fee may apply to all scratches made after the Coaches, Coxswains, and Blind Boats Meeting.


Crews that fail to notify USRowing of a scratch at least one hour prior to the scheduled start time of the race in question may have the scratch fee assessed to the RegattaCentral account that submitted the entry.


Lineup Changes:


Beginning September 28, 2015, only 50% of a crew’s lineup, not including the coxswain, may be substituted, with the exception of single sculls.


Substitutions cannot be made for single scull entries except for cases of illness or injury as described in the USRowing Rules of Rowing.


No lineup changes will be accepted via e-mail.

All substitutions must be made by submitting a change form to the USRowing registration desk during posted registration hours.


A crew submitting a substitution is responsible for ensuring that the average age of the crew remains within the bounds of the event in which it is participating.


Each lineup change requires that the incoming and outgoing competitors, including coxswains, have their credentials updated by a USRowing representative.





A competitor shall represent only one organization at a regatta.


Composite Entries:


Composite entries are allowed to compete at the USRowing Head Race National Championships.


Composite entries must include the affiliation of each member of the crew. These affiliations must comply with the affiliation rule listed above. Crews may row under their club name with a coxswain from a different club (the boat will not be considered composite). Crews must provide the accurate name of that coxswain.


Composite crews will receive an exception from being required to wear matching uniforms.


Foreign Crews:


All foreign competitors shall be individual members of their national rowing federation recognized by FISA or its national Olympic committee.


At the Head Race National Championships, the national championship medals shall be awarded according to the order of finish, regardless of nationality, but the records of USRowing shall designate the highest place domestic crew as the National Champion for the event.


Mixed Events:


A crew competing in a mixed event must be 50% male and 50% female, not including the coxswain.


Coxswain weight for mixed events is a minimum of 120lbs.




USRowing’s 2015 Rules of Rowing will govern this event. All member organizations should have received a copy of the 2015 Rules of Rowing.

An online version is available at

USRowing licensed referees will officiate the event to ensure fairness and safety.

The following rules will be waived for this event:

  • Rule 3-104 Minimum Weight of Boats




15 second penalty – Incorrectly passing or "cutting" a buoy

20 second penalty – Starting out of order or interfering with the staging of the start

30 second penalty – Interference, which includes failing to yield the right-of-way



Unsportsmanlike Conduct:


Unsportsmanlike conduct includes, but is not limited to, failure to heed the instructions of race officials, use of obscene language or gestures, delaying a race without just cause, intentional or flagrant disregard of principles of safety and fairness, or abusive behavior toward any official, team member, or spectator.


A crew that engages in unsportsmanlike conduct may be assessed a penalty by a race official.


Any team member, including a competitor, who engages in unsportsmanlike conduct at any time during the regatta may have his or her further participation at the regatta curtailed or prohibited by a race official.


Passing / Right of Way

In accordance with USRA Rules: A crew is deemed to be overtaking another crew when it has moved to within one length of open water of the crew ahead. A crew being overtaken must safely yield the right of way. On straight sections of the course, a crew being overtaken shall yield to the right. In turns, the crew being overtaken shall yield 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. Failure to yield will result in a 30 second penalty.

Passing between designated bridge spans is at your own risk.




Weigh-ins will be open during the following times:


Saturday – Earliest weigh-in window – end of racing




Coxswains 2 hour 1 will be weighed in once during the event on Saturday.



Coxswains shall be weighed in racing uniform, without shoes or other footgear. Coxswains must have their credentials in order to be allowed to weigh-in. Coxswains failing to meet the minimum weight standards listed below must carry deadweight to make up the difference in accordance with the 2015 USRowing Rules of Rowing.


Coxswains needing to carry weight must provide their own weight making materials. Weighted vests cannot be worn as deadweight.


Coxswain for Men’s and Mixed Events                              Coxswain for Women’s Event

Minimum 120 lbs                                                                 Minimum 110 lbs




Lightweight weigh-ins will occur once a day, no more than two hours and no less than one hour before the competitor’s first race.


Competitors shall be weighed in racing uniform, without shoes or other footgear.

Athletes must have their credentials in order to be allowed to weigh-in.


Lightweight Men:                                                      Lightweight Women:

Max 160 lbs. (no average)                                       Max 130 lbs. (no average)







Masters Age Categories:



























The age category of a masters crew shall be determined by the average age of the rowers in the crew, rounded down to the nearest whole number. The age of a coxswain shall not be counted. The ages of individual rowers need not fall within the age category, so long as each rower is a master and so long as the average age of the crew falls within the applicable category.


Individuals whose age places them in the AA category (age 21-26) may compete in any age category where the average age of the boat falls within that specific age category.

A masters crew may compete in a lower (younger) age category but not in a higher (older) category.


If there is more than one entry in a given age category, no handicap shall be used. No handicapping will take place at the Head Race National Championships.




All equipment used in competition must meet the USRowing Rules of Rowing requirements for equipment, with the exception of the waived rule listed above. Each organization is responsible for ensuring that its equipment meets these standards.


Crews must provide their own bow balls. Bow balls must meet the requirements set forth in the USRowing Rules of Rowing.


Bow numbers will be provided to crews when they pass through Control Commission to launch for racing sessions. Bow numbers must be properly affixed to the shell in order for a crew to be allowed onto the race course.


Bib numbers, worn by the bowman, will be given out at registration when you receive your credential. Any member of the crew is able to pick up the crews bib number. The individuals picking up the crews bib number will need to sign for their crews bib number.


Any equipment not meeting these standards, or judged to be unsafe by a USRowing official, will not be allowed onto the water.


Outside Assistance:


Crews are reminded that they are not to receive outside assistance during a race except from the unaided voice.



Race Course/ Regatta Rules:


The Course


Details to Come


Control Commission


All crews are expected to check in at the Control Commission tent prior to launching.  The crew will be given direction as to which dock to use for launching and will check for a properly affixed bow ball and heel ties on each shoe. Control Commission representatives will be located near boat launching areas.


Launch and Return Docks


Details to Come


Hot Seating

Crews wishing to “hot seat” shall notify the Dock Master on the Return Dock prior to launching. Hot seating will normally be accomplished on the launch dock only. A Hot Seat card will be issued to each crew wishing to hot seat. You may pick these cards up at Regatta Headquarters. The coxswain must alert officials on the water and the dock by holding the card over their heads.


Coaches, Coxswains, and Blind Boat Meeting:


Race officials and organizers will hold a meeting for coaches, coxswains and unaffiliated scullers on Saturday morning at a TBD time. The time and location will be announced in the Confirmation Packet for this regatta.


Schedule Information:


Racing will take place all day on Saturday, October 3, 2015.


An outline of the weekend is as follows:


Saturday, October 3: USRowing Head Race National Championships regatta


Sunday, October 4: Textile River Regatta


Inclement Weather Policy:


The Chief Referee, USRowing, and the LOC will work together to monitor the weather continuously during the event.

Should it be determined that schedule changes are necessary due to weather concerns, the following weather plan will be utilized:


Communication Plan

  1. Weather-related schedule changes will be announced utilizing the following media.
    1. Posted on the results board at the regatta site.
    2. Announced over the on-site sound system.
    3. Posted online via Twitter, Facebook, RegattaCentral, and the USRowing National Championships event website.
    4. Via text message. Coaches and athletes can register to receive weather related text messages by texting “USRowing” to 313131. This service will only be used for weather related messages.

Teams are responsible for staying updated on announced schedule changes.

Please direct any questions about schedule changes to USRowing at the registration area.


Schedule Changes will be made with the following priorities

  • Delay racing later the same day, if time is available.
  • Begin racing earlier than previously announced.  Announcement will be made no later than 3 hours before racing or 9:00 p.m. the evening before in the case of morning racing.
  • Combine events within the same boat class, but across age categories.
  • Cancel regatta.



Weigh-in Procedures

  • In instances where inclement weather causes a change in the scheduled race times for events that require the weighing of competitors (lightweights or coxswains), the time in which a competitor must be weighed will be affected as follows:
  • If the Scheduled Time of the first race is officially changed, then competitors may weigh-in during the original Weigh-in Window or the Adjusted Weigh-in Window.
  • The “Adjusted Weigh-in Window” is no less than one (1) hour and not more than two (2) hours before the new official start time of the first race in which the weight is relevant. The “Adjusted Weigh-in Window” only applies when a new official start time is published and posted. Normal regatta delays do not result in creating an “Adjusted Weigh-in Window”.


Under no circumstances will races be run after October 3, 2015.




Gold, silver, and bronze medals shall be awarded regardless of the number of entries in the event.


In events where multiple age categories are racing at the same time, medals will be awarded according to a crew’s finish in relation to their age category. If a crew is racing in a younger age category, they will be considered as a crew in the event age category closest to the crew’s actual category. For example, a crew competing in an event for C-D competitors, who falls into the E age category, would be considered a “D” entry.

When a race consists of only one entrant per age category, a gold medal will automatically be awarded upon completion of the race.




Organizations or individuals wishing to donate a trophy for an event should contact USRowing via e-mail ([email protected]) for more information.


Order of Events:


Mens Masters 4x


Mens Masters Ltwt 4x


Mixed Masters 4x


Mixed Masters 8+


Womens Masters 8+


Mens Masters 4+


Mens Masters Ltwt 4+


Mixed Masters 4+


Mens Masters 2x


Mens Masters Ltwt 2x


Mens Masters 1x


Mens Masters Ltwt 1x


Womens Masters 1x


Womens Masters Ltwt 1x


Womens Masters 4+


Womens Masters Ltwt 4+


Mixed Masters 2x


Womens Masters 2x


Womens Masters Ltwt 2x


Mens Masters 2-


Womens Masters 2-


Mens Masters 8+


Womens Masters 4x


Womens Masters Ltwt 4x


Mens Youth 1x


Womens Ltwt Youth 2x


Womens Youth 2x


Mens Youth 2-


Womens Youth 2-


Mens Youth 4+


Mens Ltwt Youth 4+


Womens Youth 8+


Womens Ltwt Youth 8+


Mens Youth 4x


Womens Youth 4x


Mens Youth 8+


Mens Ltwt Youth 8+


Womens Youth 4+


Womens Ltwt Youth 4+


Mens Youth 2x


Mens Ltwt Youth 2x


Womens Youth 1x


Womens U23 8+


Mens U23 8+


Womens U23 4x


Mens U23 4x


Womens U23 4+


Mens U23 4+


Womens U23 1x


Mens U23 1x



Contact Information:


USRowing Head Race National Championships

James Rawson

Events Coordinator, USRowing

[email protected]

(503) 473-6239