Bea Ritchie Memorial Regatta (stake race)

  • Hosted By: Wichita Rowing Association

Crew Classifications:

  • Collegiate:  An athlete who is currently enrolled full-time in a college, university, or community college.
  • Novice:  A novice is defined as a rower or coxswain who is in their first year of rowing.   In the Novice events, all rowers must be novices by this definition. The coxswain need not be in their first year.
  • Open:  Any competitor that is not a female Junior or female High School rower. 
  • Masters:  A competitor who has, or will, attain 21 years of age by December 31 of the current calendar year.  Age fraction is rounded down.  A Masters crew shall include only Masters Rowers; however the coxswain need not be of Master’s age.  The, US Rowing handicap formula, with 2.6 multiplier, will be used for rowers over the age of 27.
  • Juniors:  A rower, sculler or coxswain who, in the current calendar year, has not attained the age of 19 and who is a member of a Junior Rowing Program.
  • Recreational Single:  A recreational single shall be no more than 24 feet long and at least 17 inches wide at the water line.
  • Lightweight Women:   Maximum individual weight is 135 lbs.  There is no averaging of rower weights.   There will be no weigh-ins; you are on the honor system.
  • Lightweight Men:   Maximum individual weight is 165 lbs.  There is no averaging of rower weights.   There will be no weigh-ins; you are on the honor system.
  • Mixed Crew: Crew typically made up of men and women rowers in equal numbers; although crews with more women rowers than men rowers will be allowed to compete in this event as long as there is at least one male rower.  The coxswain can be either sex but does not count towards the mixed rower numbers.

Shell Safety Requirements:

For the Safety of all participants, all shells are required to have Bow balls conforming to the 'US Rowing Rules of Rowing'.  Failure to have a bow ball may result in a penalty.  Additional safety requirements include quick heel release devices being installed on all shells.  All of these items are the responsibility of the individual Crew, their Coaches and their Program.  Coaches are responsible for ensuring that their athletes are familiar with rowing safety.  Masters and Club rowers must also be aware of all equipment safety requirements.

Race Course:

The Race Course is on the Little Arkansas River through Riverside Park in Wichita, Kansas.  The race distance is approximately 2.6 Kilometers.  The race start is at the Nims Street Bridge. The race progresses upstream from there to the turn around bouy just past Greifenstein Bridge. The finish is back at the Nims Street Bridge. Boats must turn around the stake bouy to finish the course. Shortly past the Launch Dock, and around the bend in the river, is a dam that the crews must stay back from.  There are three bridges on the race course and bends and curves along most of the race course.

Race Course Details:

  • The race course is fully buoyed from start to finish.  
  • Yellow buoys separate the outbound leg and the inbound leg of the race course. 
  • Crews use the right hand rule when going upstream and downstream.
  • After crossing the finish line crews must clear the finish line area and proceed to the turnaround buoy past the finish line.  Crews are to continue to row and row immediately to the dock in the return lane.  Caution:  There is a dam downstream from the Launch Dock; stay back from dam area.

Race Times:

Boats will not be allowed to row outside their scheduled times.  Hot seat at your own risk.

Bow Markers:

For the safety of all crews and to insure proper identification of crews, bow markers are required on all boats.  Bow Markers will be provided and must be returned to the Dock Master immediately after the race has concluded.  Crews failing to return the Shell Bow Marker will be assessed a $5.00 fee per bow marker. 

Race Day Activities

First Aid:

Basic first aid kit and ice will be available at the registration table.  

Calling of Events:

  • First call for an event will occur 25 minutes prior to the event.
  • Launch time is 15 minutes prior to event.
  • The best effort will be made to launch Crews in numerical order.
  • Each crew will be allotted 90 seconds to launch or land their boat on the dock.
  • Coxswains are to follow the directions of the Dock Master, who can assess a penalty for crews not complying with instructions.
  • Crews shall clear the dock area immediately upon launching.
  • Crews are to make their equipment adjustments in the boat storage area or on the water.  No equipment adjustments will be permitted at the Launch Dock.
  • The warmup area is downstream from the Launch Dock. The Dock Master will give permission for crews to cross the river.


Time Penalties may be assessed for the following conditions:

  • Buoy violation:  Buoy penalties will be assessed when the blades cross the yellow buoy line separating the outbound racing lane from the inbound race lane.  These penalties will apply no matter which direction the shell is proceeding.  Penalties are assessed for the first buoy and for each and every buoy afterwards.    A shell hull crossing the yellow buoy line shall be assessed an additional penalty.  A shell that interferes with a shell in the opposing lane will be assessed an interference penalty.
  • Yellow Buoy violation - blades:  10 seconds per buoy (blades crossing the buoy line between racing lanes).
  • Yellow Buoy violation – hull:  30 seconds.
  • Failure to follow Dock-Master instructions:  1 Buoy violation, possible disqualification
  • Missed order at Start:  1 Buoy violation.
  • No bow marker at start: 1 Buoy violation.
  • Failure to yield:  30 seconds.
  • Failure to turn the stake: disqualification.
  • Interference:  Exclusion from Event.
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct:  Disqualification. 


All protests must be made within 30 minutes of the finish of the race.  A $25.00 protest fee must be turned in at the registration table at the Regatta Headquarters at the WRA shell shelter.   The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.


Race times and results will be posted as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Results will be at the WRA shelter.


Medals will be awarded to first, second, third place crews.  Medals will not be awarded to single entry events (i.e. no participation medals). For events with only three (3) entries, only first and second place medals will be awarded. First place crews will be awarded a Bea Ritchie Memorial Regatta Logo Medal.

Clean Up:

Please help us keep our Park beautiful!  Waste containers are provided throughout the Regatta area.  Please be a good sport and leave your area clean.  

Entries and Scratches:

Late entries are accepted until the date listed on Dates & Deadlines; they will incur a penalty fee.  Late entries will also most likely be placed at the back of the event draw.  Scratches will not be refunded.

THANK YOU for your help in making the Bea Ritchie Memorial Regatta SAFE and Enjoyable for ALL!




  • Crews are encouraged to stay somewhat in numerical order while rowing in the warmup area.  Prior to reaching the start line staging area, crews should line up in order of bow marker numbers, lowest to highest.
  • Begin lining up at the staging area past the Launch Dock at least five minutes prior to the start of your race. 
  • Think Safety, Please be aware of smaller, and/or slower shells that you may overtake during your warm-up.
  • Caution must be exercised by all crews with regard to encroachment into the race course during warm-up.  Crews shall also stay clear of bridges pillars, obstructions and shallow areas

Race Start:

  • The Bea Ritchie Memorial Regatta is a Time Trial/Stake Race format similar to a Head Race and as such is a flying start with shells starting in single file at 20 second intervals. 
  • Coxswains are to approach the starting line as directed by the Starting Official.
  • Think Safety: Please be aware of smaller, and/or slower shells that you may overtake during the race.
  • Caution must be exercised by all crews with regard to encroachment into the warm-up area when finishing.  Crews shall also stay clear of bridges pillars, obstructions and shallow areas. 


Faster shells must be given the shortest route and the right of way.  When passing another shell, the overtaking shell has the right of way, but the coxswain is obliged to make it apparent to the crew ahead on which side the coxswain wishes to pass.  The crew being overtaken must give the overtaking shell room to pass, usually on the inside of the curve.  If, in the opinion of the officials, insufficient room is given, an interference penalty will be assessed.  No crew shall press its right of way to the point of collision.  Respect for the safety of other competitors must be shown at all times.