First Coast Head Race

  • Hosted By: Stanton Rowing Foundation


General Information

This course is a mirror image of the Head of the Charles; the skill required is very high, and not for novice coxswains. This challenging three mile (4.8K) course begins on the St. Johns River, winds down the beautiful Arlington River, and passes under three bridges. This is not a course for novice coxswains. Residential neighborhoods and marshes protect the majority of the race waters. A Course map defining traffic flow will be available at Registration and / or on the website.


Launching occurs at the race course Crossover Area between the second and third bridge (about 2 mile point). The dockmaster or official will inform you when and where to cross the course. Failure to follow the instructions will result in a penalty.

Course Markers

Red buoys, green buoys, flags and banners mark the course. The bridge spans are marked on the columns or overhead. Go between the marked columns and through the marked span. Buoys will form a chute at the approach to each bridge, at the start and at the finish. Otherwise, the red buoys will be on the Coxswain's left (port side). Although the course itself moves from the port to the starboard shore between the 2nd (University) and 3rd (Cesery) bridges, the red buoys will remain to port after the Cesery Bridge. Passing Passing is allowed along the entire course except the 90 degree turn by the Episcopal dock.


Quickly clear the finish line, turn and hug the starboard shore. Remain in single file to the launch/landing site. You will be directed to a landing spot.