• Hosted By: Chicago Rowing Foundation
  • 2017 Registered Regatta

ROWtoberfest Video

October 15, 2016


Rules for Competitors


1.         Liability Waiver

Every competitor must have completed and signed a 2016 USRowing Waiver. Each organization must pick up its competitors’ packet at the registration table at the WMS Boathouse at Clark Park. The packet will contain separate envelopes for each crew entry with the identifying bow number for each. Packets will only be released to organization whose members are all verified to have signed the USRowing waiver. Under absolutely no circumstances will entries with missing waivers be issued their race packet or be allowed to launch to race.


2.         Boat Site- 3400 N. Rockwell St., Chicago, IL 60618

            Trailer entry will only be allowed at Rockwell and Addison-north of the boathouse. If you are coming from the North, take exit 45A-Addison from I90E/I94E, and head east to N. Rockwell. Turn right on to North Rockwell.  If you are coming from the South, take exit 47A-Western from I90W/I94W. Take Western north to Addison, then turn left onto Addison. From Addison, turn left on N. Rockwell.


Trailers may begin arriving at 4pm on Friday, October 14. Park trailers on N. Rockwell- do not park any trailers on the grass of Clark Park. There is plenty of parking for trailers on N. Rockwell by the boathouse.  Trailers will be assigned a space based on the order of arrival. A Trailer Director will direct each trailer when it arrives. No vehicles, other than those needed to haul the trailer will be allowed in on N. Rockwell.

Boats may be lined up and rigged on the grass of Clark Park starting at 4pm on Friday, October 14. Each club will be designated a staging area based on arrival time.


3.         Pre Race Practice

            The river will not be open for any pre race practicing.

4.         Race Launching

            The dock can hold up to three (3) eights at a time. Crews will launch in reverse order of bow numbers, and should line up that way before reaching the dock. Each crew is allotted two (2) minutes from the time it walks onto the dock until the time it leaves.

            The launch point for all races will be at the WMS Boathouse at Clark Park. The Dock Master has absolute authority over the dock area. From the dock, the Clerk of Course will call each event and call for crews to launch. Crews are responsible for reaching the dock on time whether or not a call has been announced. No one will attempt to locate the crews in the boat area who have not reported to the dock. Each crew is required to report to the Clerk of Course before boarding the launching dock. If the Dock Master determines that a crew late to the launching dock cannot reach the starting line on time, the Dock Master has the right to prevent that crew from leaving the dock.


5.         Proceeding to the Start Line (Chicago River) (see maps)

            As soon as a crew launches, it must proceed directly to the start and get in line in reserve order of its bow number. It is extremely important to the timetable that crews row by all eight or all four immediately after launching. Crews rowing by less may be assessed a time penalty or disqualified for delaying the regatta. Eights may row by sixes without penalty. With the reverse order of launching, the first crew launching and going downriver will row down the Chicago River to the farthest point south past the start point indicated by the marshal’s boats and spin. The next boat (in descending bow number) will spin in front of the first boat, etc. Crews will be lined up on both sides of the river. Marshal’s boats will assist. Follow their directions.


6.         Equipment Adjustments

            All equipment adjustments must be made in the boat area prior to launching. Absolutely no adjustments will be permitted at or on the dock. Violators will be asked to depart from the dock immediately and may be assessed a 60-second penalty at the discretion of the Dock Master.


7.         Safety Equipment

            Every competing boat must be properly equipped with a bow ball and quick-release shoes with heels properly tied down.


8.         Boat Numbers

            The assigned number for each crew entry boat will be in the envelopes provided as part of the competitors’ packet. Attachment of the boat number at all four corners on the backs of the coxswain and bow rower is absolutely critical for the crew’s time to be recorded correctly. Boat numbers must be also placed on the bow of each boat entered. Boats without numbers on the bow, bow rower and coxswain will not be allowed to launch to race. All bow numbers must be returned immediately upon docking.


9.         Schedule of Events

            The coaches and coxswains’ meeting is at 8:00am.

            Open Men’s and Women's 4+ will begin launching at 9:00am and the first race will start promptly at 9:30am.  Men’s and Women’s Jr. Novice 8+’s will follow, launching at 10:00am and racing at 10:30am. Men’s and Women’s Master 8+’s will launch at 11:00am and will start racing at 11:30am.  Men’s and Women’s Collegiate 8+'s will launch promptly at 12:00am, and will start racing at 12:30pm. Men’s and Women’s Junior 8+’s will launch at 1:00pm and will start racing at 1:30pm. 

            Hotseating will be allowed; coxswains are responsible for communicating hotseating to the Dock Master.

            Each launch follows the proceeding launch without any time gap. Accordingly, launch and race times after the first launch of the regatta are only estimates. It is expected that each succeeding launch will proceed quickly.

            If any boat is being scratched, call Maida Wallin at 773-495-4523 on race day,  or notify the Clerk of Course at the WMS Boathouse boat area as soon as possible. CRF holds the right to combine race events if there are fewer than five (5) boats registered.


10.      Procedure at the Start Line

            There will be a hold point at the south end of the Chicago River (see map). The lowest bow number crew in each race will hole here until called by the starter (who will be in a launch) to accelerate to the start line. A horn will sound for each boat indicating the start time for that boat.


11.      Rowing the Course

            The race is 4,000 meters long. Between Diversey Aveunue and Damen Avenue is half way.


12.      Racing Rules

  1. Row through the center opening of each bridge only.
  2. Use caution at the turn at Damen Avenue Bridge.
  3. Use careful judgment when passing any boat throughout the race.
  4. No one should try to pass a boat if doing so would endanger the overtaking boat or the boat being overtaken.
  5. A boat being overtaken must give way to the outside of any curve or to the side requested by the overtaking boat (when requested to do so by the overtaking boat) when the overtaking boat advances to within one (1) length of open water of the boat being overtaken. An overtaking boat that has moved this close has earned the right to unimpeded passage on the fastest line of the course.
  6. A boat being passed does not have to give way if, in the coxswain’s judgment, doing so would risk a collision with another boat, bridge or other obstacle.
  7. Any unsafe steering, intentional contact by oars or boat with another boat, any displays of temper, any verbal abuse, or any other unsportsmanlike conduct will be sanctioned severely.
  8. While a crew is racing on the course, no crew member may speak to any member of another crew except when necessary, in an emergency, or when a coxswain in a boat requests that the boat being overtaken give way. Violations will be severely sanctioned.


13.      Crossing the Finish Line- Continue Past Dock

            A horn will sound as each boat crosses the finish line. (Map). After crossing, each boat should continue paddling past the dock of the WMS Boathouse to the Addison Street bridge before turning. Marshal’s boats will assist crews to turn and get ready to return to the docks.


14.      Hotseating

            Hotseating of boats or oars will be allowed. Coxswains must give the Dock Master and Referees notice before launching.