Head of the Genesee

  • Hosted By: Rochester Community inclusive Rowing
  • 2018 Registered Regatta

Instructions for Coxswains - Head Race

Introduction and New Items

We make every effort to respect your ability to compete in our regatta and endeavor to run events on time.

Don't be late to the start.  ON TIME = arriving 10 minutes before your event is scheduled to start.

WAIVERS 092116

Recent Additions and updates:

Entries 03/14/2018

Boatyard and Dock 09/17/16

Launching Instructions 09/27/16

Proceeding to the Start 09/17/16

The Start 09/17/16

Weighin 0916/16


ALL participants are required to have submitted and verified electronic waiver forms on file with USROWING.  There can be NO exceptions.


All boats registered late will be seeded last and subject to a $50 late fee.
Late registration on Regatta Central ends Wednesday at midnight.

Masters competitors who have not submited their date of birth prior to racing will compete without a handicap.

Collegiate and high school athletes must register through their college or high school rowing program.

Coaches who wish to register mixed gender boats must contact regatta staff.

Boatyard and Docks

Trailers will be arranged on the Baseball Field, south of the ice skating rink, north of the docks. The boatyard is bounded by snow fences for your equipment’s security. Food tents, trailers and boats will be in the outfield of the ball diamond.  The fenced infield is out of bounds.  Garbage cans are provided for your use.  Portable toilets are provided for your use.  All launching is from the 3 GWC docks as assigned.  The Dock master will call you to your assigned docks 10 minutes prior to your assigned launch time.  Coxswains are responsible for knowing their launch times.  Bring your boats to the docks in the orientation required for your assigned dock (bow or stern first).Orientation will be posted and announced at the morning coach and cox meeting.  Have assistance on the docks to handle oars, shoes, etc.  You will not be allowed to leave items on or near the docks.

Weigh-In (Coxies will NOT be weighed in)

Men – High School 155 lbs.     Collegiate and Masters 165 lbs.    

Women – High School 135 lbs       Collegiate and Masters 135 lbs    

Crews must weigh in as a team.  

Weighin can occur anytime from 7:00 am to 1 hour before posted OR amended launch time.  Competitors of multiple events must meet weighin requirements at their first team/event weighin but must be present for each team weighin with their crew (unless on the water for an event).  Competitors who fail to make weight and are within 1.0 lb are afforded ONE reweigh within a one hour period of initial attempt, and more than 1 hour before launch time.  (entire crew need not be present for reweigh attempt).  Failure to make weight greater than 1.0 lb are not afforded reweigh.


All boats will be launched and retrieved from the Genesee Waterways Center docks for collegiate, high school, and masters racing.  Launch your boats as directed by dock personnel.You will be heading UP stream. Please be efficient on the docks, as regatta timing depends on your adhering to your launch schedule.Don't be late to the docks.

Row only in the designated travel lane (between yellow buoys and shore). Entering the race course may create an unsafe condition and may results in a warning or exclusion.

Proceeding to the Start Area


Because of continuing issues with crews arriving late to start the following is required.  All crews rowing to the start area are to proceed briskly; 8's must row by minimum 6 oars, 4's by all 4.  Failure to do so or failure to heed instructions of course marshals may result in a warning or exclusion !!!!  PLEASE have your crews be aware of their progress and their race times.

ON TIME = arriving 10 minutes before your event is scheduled to start.

Row briskly to the start. Don't be late. Row by 6's or 8's so as not to be late to the start or block the travel lane.  Blocking traffic to the start may be assessed a traffic violation. The travel lane will be marked by buoys in the dock area, around turns, and at narrow spots on your port side. YELLOW buoys will demark the travel lane and race lane.  ALWAYS keep the yellow buoys on our PORT side.  The travel lane will proceed thru the West arch of the Genesee Park Footbridge. The river traffic pattern is counter-clockwise. You will never need to row across traffic or have a yellow buoy on your starboard side (hazard buoys are red and are excepted). Keep well to Starboard at all times.  will result in penalties appropriate to the infraction. NEVER impede racing; the river is several boat lanes wide, your courtesy and awareness are required. This is a natural river. Tree branches and shore snags are present. The rowing lanes will be cleared as best as practical, but coxswains vigilance is required as typical for river rowing.  Proceed past the rail road bridge to the start staging area. Report to the start area marshals when you arrive. Don’t be late to the start.

In the Start Area

Report 10 minutes ahead of your race to the start area marshals when you arrive. Start Marshals will advise you as to time to the start of your race, where your group is assembling, and what order you will be racing in. Presume races will be run on time and that you will race in bow number order. Take a watch, be on time.  Keep your crews warm by doing small drills. Keep in communication with the start marshals. Crews which row out of the start staging area and miss the start of the race do so at their own peril. The Start Marshal will line up your race in bow number order in two lanes ODD and EVEN demarked by a GREEN buoy line ahead of the start chute, and will assist in spacing boats at 15 second intervals.  As this is a fall race, coxswains are advised to check that their fin and rudder are clear of leaves and debris.

Approaching the Start

The Start Marshal will alert you as to when your race is about to start. The Judge at the Start (Starter) will be near the bank on the starboard side (East Bank) of the River. You will be instructed to row on the paddle in sequence such that boats will be spaced at 15 second intervals (approximately 5 to 8 strokes between boat starts).The Starter will call you to increasing power so that you cross the line at full power.

The Start

Boats will be staged in two lanes, odd (on the left as you approach start, river center) and even (on the right along shore) before the start.  Lanes are divided by green buoys. You will be released in turn by the Start Marshall (located at Black Creek), advance into the start chute.  The starting line is marked by a series of large red buoys 75 meters south of the railroad bridge forming a starting chute. The Judge will call you to increasing power so that you cross the line at full power. You will be given the command to start racing ("GO") as your bow crosses the start line. You are responsible for maintaining boat spacing. You are responsible for being at full power as you cross the start line. Your race time will be started by the timers as your bow ball crosses the start line. If you fail to follow starting procedure, the Judge at the Start will command your boat to return to the starting area at the end of the line of your grouping.  Additional information will be given to you by the Start Marshal on the water. If you suffer equipment breakage, pull off of the course within 100 meters of the start (before the iron RR bridge) safely to port into the travel lane. Travel to the Starting Marshal and report your issue. Boats leaving the starting area are presumed to accept the fairness of the start. Boats failing to start without legitimate breakage will be assessed a warning and restarted appropriately as determined by the Judge at the Start.

The Race

The race is held on the Genesee River, a natural river with natural banks, bends, turns, currents, eddies, trees, outcroppings, snags, etc. Some floating debris is to be expected despite the organizing committees' best efforts to sweep the river. Navigate the course to your best advantage, keeping away from shores' hazards. YELLOW buoys mark the racing and travel lane. Keep your hull to the starboard of course marking buoys. In turns be sure that your racing line does not pose a hazard to boats proceeding to the start in the travel lane.  Oars (not hull) may cross over the yellow buoy. Your clashing oars to a traveling boats' hull or rowers is a grievous safety hazard which will result in penalty, possible exclusion from the race. When approaching the footbridge near the finishing area, go thru the CENTER arch. Submerged logs and shallows are between the pier and the shore. Going between the pier and the shore constitutes a safety violation as well as traffic violation and will result in exclusion.

Boats being overtaken are required to relinquish the fastest racing line to the overtaking boat. Overtaking boats are to CLEARLY (Loudly !) indicate their intent to pass and to which side they choose to pass. Boats being overtaken who fail to yield will be assessed an interference penalty. Interference will be determined by the discretion of the observing course referee/marshal and is not subject to protest. Boats being passed are required to give safe water to the passing boats. Failure to yield a safe racing line will result in interference. If interference results in collision (clashing of oars on hull, or oars on rower) or forcing the passing boat to stop rowing to avoid collision with an obstacle, the interfering boat will be penalized. When in doubt yield! Yielding will result in less time lost than an interference penalty or exclusion.


Interference, missed buoys, etc, penalties will be assessed by the Referees and Marshals in observation on the course.   Rulings by Referees and Marshals are considered a "finding of fact" and as such are not subject to objection.

Code    Seconds    Penalty
1          60               Unsportsmanlike Conduct   (exclusion if extreme)
2          10               Missed Buoy
3          30               Interference - failure to separate
4          60               Interference - hull to hull contact
5          60               Interference - hull to body contact
6          60               Interference - blade to hull contact
7          60               Interference - blade to body contact
8          60               Failure of crew being passed to yield
9          60               Failure of passing crew to slow or yield if unsafe to complete a pass
10        60               Pushing a crew into an unsafe situation or off the course
11        60               Bridge violation
12        60               Safety violation

This list may be incomplete.  USRowing Referees may modify this list at their discretion.

Raising Objection, Protest

Crews wishing to discuss race results, raise objection, will have one hour to do so by seeing the Chief Referee or Head Timer.  If after discussion a crew wishes to raise protest in objection, written statement and resolution request with $50.00 check payable to Rochester Community Inclusive Rowing as stipulated is USRowing Rules of Rowing - Rule 2-606 is required with the hour.

The Finish

The finish line is at the end of the long aluminum dock, denoted by a white or tan tent, red buoys on the water, and a large orange finishing flag. Row full power thru the finish. Ease off and continue rowing thru the Elmwood Avenue bridge (stone bridge), or follow instructions of marshal, before you spin and return to the docks. The Marshal at the Finish will advise you when and to which dock you are to land.  (Dock 3 is default) Failure to follow instructions will result in assessment of a traffic pattern violation penalty.


Shore crews are advised to watch for landing crews. Quickly bring shoes, etc. to crews, assist in oar removal. Clear the docks quickly as other crews will be waiting to land. Carry your boats directly to your trailer area. Race results will be posted as they are available, your patience will be appreciated. 


Preliminary results of racing will be posted outside the MEDALS window as soon as they are tabulated.  Medals will be awarded one hour after results are posted for uncontested events.  


Have fun, row hard, appreciate the skills and efforts of your competitors.  Conduct yourselves as ladies and gentlemen at all times.  Foul language and unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated in any form and will result in penalties, including possible exclusion.

Dress for the weather.

Be polite, leave all your energy on the water.

Don't be late to the start.