104th West Side Invitational

  • Hosted By: West Side Rowing Club


102ndAnnual West Side Invitational

Sunday, July 12, 2015


On July 21, 1913, the West Side Rowing Club held its first “Water Carnival & Regatta” on the Black Rock Canal.  The highlight of the event was an exhibition race between West Side Rowing Club members in two Eight-person shells as this was the first time an Eight-person shell was ever seen in Buffalo! 


On Sunday, July 12th, eight-person shells, as well as fours, pairs, doubles and singles will compete in the 102nd Annual West Side Invitational Regatta hosted by the West Side Rowing Club.  This regatta will feature programs from across the northeast and Canada as they compete in 28 events.  Racing will begin at 9am with time trial heats that will immediately be followed by sprint race finals.  A full schedule will be posted on regattacentral.com and wsrc.org by July 7th. 


The West Side Rowing Club looks forward to continuing its Centennial Celebration with another great regatta on the Black Rock Canal!

Regatta Rules:


Regatta Format:

  • All heats will be run as 1,500 meter time trials.  Crews will begin rowing above the Ferry Street Lift Bridge and their time will begin when they cross the starting line.
  • The top 4 crews from each heat will advance to the finals.
  • Finals will be 4 boat races*.  The start of each final will be a floating start.  All coxswains must listen and respond to the starting official to ensure a fair start.  Failure to comply with the starting official will result in disqualification.


*A 5 boat final may be raced at the discretion of the Regatta Chairperson.


New: Masters Events for 2015. 1500 meter race with no age handicap. 




  • The West Side Invitational Regatta is rowed over 1,500 meters of the Black Rock Canal.  Crews will begin racing at the Ferry Street Lift Bridge and race south to the West Side Rowing Club.
  • There will be a slight head current on the course, as crews will be racing from north to south along the Canal.  Wind speed and direction will be determined on the day of the race.
  • Course Map Link: Regatta Map


Launch Site:

  • All crews will launch from the docks located at the West Side Rowing Club. 
  • Crews will be called to the water no more than 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
  • All crews must launch with bows pointed towards the Canal.
  • There will be a 60-second limit for all crews on the dock.  The dock master will have the authority to impose penalties for excessive time on the dock.
  • When you leave the dock for the HEATS, crews must stay to the east side (City side) of the Canal as they make their way to the start.  Crews that interfere with racing boats on their way to the start will be assessed a penalty.  No crew on their way to the start should proceed through the Ferry Street Lift Bridge until the Marshall on the water clears them to do so.
  • When crews leave the dock for the FINALS, each crew must cross to the west side (river side) of the canal and make their way to the start.  All crews must proceed to the start single file. Crews that interfere with racing boats on their way to the start will be assessed a penalty.  No crew on their way to the start should proceed through the Ferry Street Lift Bridge until the Marshall on the water clears them to do so.


Starting Area:

  • All crews must be in the marshaling area at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the event.
  • Boats will be started in order of their bow numbers at approximately 15-second intervals for the heats. 
  • Boats arriving late to the start may lose their starting position or be excluded from the event at the discretion of the Starting Line Official.


Passing on the Race Course (Time Trial Heats only):

  • 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 shall move to the right and allow the overtaking crew to pass. – 2013 Rules of Rowing, Appendix to Article VIII.b
  • Any violation of the passing rules will result in a 30 second penalty.


Buoys on the Race Course:


Finish Area:

  • All races will conclude in front of the West Side Rowing Club.  There will be an official on land that will use an air horn to signal the finish of the race.  The horn will sound once for each crew crossing the line.
  • Once crews have crossed the finish line, they must keep rowing until they reach the green buoy beyond the Fontana Boathouse.  Once crews have reached that point, an on the water official will direct them back to the docks at the Fontana Boathouse.
  • All crews must stay between the wall and the red buoys when returning to the docks.  Crews that enter the race course and interfere with racing boats will be given a 30-second penalty. 


Return Dock:

  • All crews will be returning to the Fontana Boathouse docks. 
  • There is a 60-second time limit on the dock.
  • It is suggested that all coaches have the athletes shoes stored near the return dock and additional athletes to help clear the oars from the return dock area as crews come in.



  • Lightweight Men:  Max of 165 lbs (74.8427kg)
  • Lightweight Women: Max of 135 lbs (61.235kg)
  • Weigh-Ins are on the honor system but can be challenged by another crew if necessary.


Definition of Categories:

  • All events are Senior unless limited by age group.
  • Under 17 (U17): A rower or coxswain shall be defined as an Under 17 competitor until the 31st of December of the year in which he or she reaches the age of 16.
  • Under 19 (U19): A rower or coxswain who is no longer an Under 17 competitor shall be classified as a U19 competitor until the 31st of December of the year in which he or she reaches the age of 18.
  • Lightweight: Any athlete that is at or below 165 pounds for men’s events and 135 pounds for women’s events.





Hot Seating:

  • Hot seating boats or rowers requires a minimum of 40 minutes separation, but is always done so at your own risk.  We will not wait for your crew!
  • All hot seating will take place at the Fontana Boathouse docks.






Entry Information:

  • All entries must be completed and emailed back to regattacentral.com by July 6th.
  • 2 Boats constitute a race and must be from 2 different rowing clubs.
  • Payment can be made on the day of the event.  When paying on the day of the event, please make checks payable to “West Side Rowing Club”.
  • Canadian Money accepted at par.
  • Entry Fee’s:
    • Eights:  $95.00
    • Fours and Quads:   $75.00
    • Pairs and Doubles:  $55.00
    • Singles: $45.00



Day of Event Registration:

  • Registration packets will be available in the upstairs Board room of the West Side Rowing club on the day of the event. 
  • Each packet will contain bow numbers as well as back numbers and safety pins for each entry that requires a heat.
  • Course maps and additional race information will also be included in the regatta packets.
  • All entry fees must be paid in full before a program will receive their entry packet.


Event Parking:

  • The main lot of the West Side Rowing Club will be reserved for trailer parking only. 
  • Trailer parking will be available after 6pm on Saturday July 11th.  Please contact Miles Schwartz, [email protected], 609-780-5561, if you will be bringing a trailer or traveling by bus to this event.
  • There will be a shuttle bus transporting coaches and athletes from Front Park and LaSalle Park to Cotter’s Point beginning at 6:30AM and concluding after the last race.
  • Additional parking information is available on wsrc.org.
  • All rowing shells and competitors must be on the property no later than 9am due to an event going on at a neighboring facility. 


Contingency Plan:

  • In the event of unrowable water on race day:
    • We will run as many of the heats as possible with changes to the race order only if necessary.  Should it become clear that we cannot get all of the heats in we may change the order of events to make sure the higher events are run.
    • Race day can/will be extended until 6pm if there is a possibility the water will become rowable.
    • If FINALS need to be cancelled, the fastest qualifying times in the heats will be awarded the tankard/points.
    • If the Regatta Committee decides that all of the heats or finals cannot be raced, and subsequently need to change the “order of racing”, the following will be the order: Senior (8+, 4+), Lightweight (8+, 4+), Under 19 (8+), Under 17 (8+), Under 19 (4+), Under 17 (4+), 140/120 lb. 4+, 2x, 1x.



  • Traditional West Side Invitational Tankards will be awarded to first place crews. 
  • The O'Sullivan Trophy will be awarded to the Club that achieves the most points during the regatta.




Holiday Inn

620 Delaware Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14201



Best Western Inn – Inn on the Avenue

510 Delaware Ave.

Buffalo, NY 14201



Adams Mark Hotel

120 Church St.

Buffalo, NY 14202