Music City Head Race

  • Hosted By: Vanderbilt Rowing Club
  • 2019 Registered Regatta

Over 100 volunteers are needed to run this regatta as described below. If you would like to help us demonstrate Nashville hospitality, please sign up here:


Music City Head Race 2018

Volunteer Job Descriptions


Boat Safety Inspectors         

- check all boats before going down hill to launch    

- check that bow balls are firmly in place      

- check for bow number         

- check that all shoes in boat are tied down at the heels        

- there will be 3 stations at the top of the hill for inspections


Buoy drop off/pick up         

- arrives early with coaches    

- assembles buoys with ropes and anchors     

- load buoys into launches     

- drop buoys along course per GPS unit        

- adjusts buoys along course once all are in   

- pick up buoys after race - goes faster than setting up         

- work gloves and old clothes are recommended when pulling up buoys     


Dock Master 

- control the launching and recovering of all crews/boats                 

- crews should launch and recover in under 3 minutes.         

- priority should be given to crews who need to launch for races and those just finished for hotseating     

- make sure oars are present for launching crews and oarlocks are open (2 people are allowed to carry oars for an 8, 1 person for smaller boats)

- refer to map on how to launch 3/8s at once 

- refer to map on how to land launching and recovering crews at the same time      

- one volunteer will be at top of hill (remove bow numbers on boats recovering)

- one volunteer will be at bottom by river (make sure oarlocks are open)

- two volunteers will manage traffic on the dock

- be mindful of safety first and adopt a pleasant and helpful attitude toward all coaches and crews          


Dock Set Up

- need 6 people to load 200 lb. sections of the dock onto a flatbed trailer under supervision of Don Sullivan

- drive with trailer to riverfront and unload the sections, then return to load up more dock sections

- need 6 additional people to haul the dock sections down the hill, install on river and attach them together under supervision of Vanderbilt engineering students

   - when last load is brought to river, both crews help secure spud poles and ramps


Dock Tear Down

- disassemble the dock, load sections on truck, return and store at lake


Finish Line Timer    

- requires use of stopwatch (all regatta stopwatches are started in unison on land before regatta)

- sits on shore aligned with the finish line noting what time each crew crosses the finish   

- note each race, what teams and their bow numbers are coming down the course, and communicate the finish times for each to the results tent using cell phone  


Gravel Spreading

-spread gravel along the river by the dock to fill in between the cement blocks to levelize area underfoot

- please bring a shovel


Launch Drivers        

- requires knowledge of how to operate an outboard motor and drive a launch       

- each driver is assigned a location along the 5k course, usually 500-1000 meters apart      

- insure the safety of all crews within your location on the course    

- watch for crews passing each other, passing bridge abutments or other hazards along the course 

- direct boat traffic heading to the start of the race if necessary       

- watch that no boats are interfering with the races coming down the course          

- note any crews that missed buoys and phone/text/email info indicating the bow number and the number of missed buoys           


Medals volunteer      

- distributes the medals for each race to athlete or coach      

- collect signature from person picking up medals to acknowledge receipt  

- print race results and post them on the results board


Parking Attendant   

- look at map on MCHR website for designated parking lots           

  • Spectator parking is in the southern part of Lot R and Lot T
  • Athlete parking will be in the northwest quadrant of Lot R

- two will direct cars to park, two will sit at closed off roads to prevent traffic from coming through        

- you may be the first face of Nashville Rowing - be a problem-solver, helpful and courteous, not an enforcer        

- there will be someone from Nashville Sports Authority/Titans collecting $5 from each spectator car to park. This is their policy and the money does not go to the regatta.

- control the flow of vehicles into and out of reserved parking areas

- keep athlete drop-off area moving smoothly           

- prevent illegal parking         

- be mindful of all pedestrian safety around vehicles



- Friday is Registration Day - hand out packets to arriving teams, athletes  

- have arriving coaches check packet for correct race entries

- inform arriving coaches of coxswains and volunteer meetings, when racing starts on Saturday and any other pertinent information          

- make sure all crews and single scullers who register fill out the economic impact survey  

- handle weigh-ins for all lightweight crews by noting weight on clipboard, scale provided by coach

- weigh-ins are Friday 1-6p, Saturday 8-10a 

- by Saturday noon most crews have registered        



- requires computer skills to record data        

- record start times sent by start-line timer via text or photo by cell phone   

- record finish times sent by finish-line timer via text of photo by cell phone          

- for Masters races record all handicaps for each race from a spreadsheet provided by coach         

- make sure you know the password for the computer!         

- one person follows up with all timers to get the results and one person records those figures in the computer        


Start Chute Director

- requires knowledge on how the start of a Head Race is done        

- requires knowledge of how to operate an outboard motor and drive a launch       

- directs boats to line up in order of bow number going into the chute         

- keep boats constantly moving through the chute    

- note any crews arriving late or no-shows and communicate to Registration Volunteer with cell phone    

- has use of megaphone to be heard   


Start Line Holding Area Director   

- requires knowledge on how the start of a Head Race is done        

- requires knowledge of how to operate an outboard motor and drive a launch       

- manages the boats/crews coming into the start area

- keeps boats in the same event together until they are called to move up to the chute        

- keeps boats lined up by bow numbers within their event    

- keeps boat traffic moving toward the start chute in an orderly fashion      

- has use of a megaphone to be heard

- handles any safety issues with boats/crews in this area       


Start Line Timer      

- requires use of stopwatch (all regatta stopwatches are started in unison on land before regatta)

- requires cell phone with battery back up (binoculars also helpful if you have them)          

- requires the agility to climb onto a rock outcropping/cliff from a launch to get into position        

- bring a clipboard and pencil/pen to write down times        

- if it rains, bring protection for yourself and protection for clipboard (plastic covering, pen that won't run, etc.) 

- two volunteers work with referee to call out the bow number and record start times for each boat in the event        

- communicate the start times to the results tent via text or a photo of the start time           

- you will be standing on a rock cliff overlooking the water for this job with no access to a bathroom       

- wear old clothes you don't mind getting dirty and sneakers to scramble up the rocks       


Trailer Parking Attendant  

- trailers will begin arriving Friday afternoon through early Saturday morning to park in Lot R in northeast quadrant         

- you may be the first face of Nashville Rowing - be a problem-solver, helpful and courteous, not an enforcer           

- courteously re-direct vehicles that are not trailers to the appropriate lots

- guide trailers into designated parking spaces parking diagonally across the spaces to increase capacity   

- make sure other vehicles don't park in trailer spots 

- consider the safety all equipment when guiding trailers into spaces, watch bows or sterns extending past the trailer as they maneuver into place     


Trash pick up volunteer      

- as teams begin leaving, consolidate trash

- Metro provides 15-20 metal trash cans which must all be emptied 

- trash will be taken to dumpster and all metal cans stacked together