Row for the Cure - Seattle

  • Hosted By Pocock Rowing Center

One of Puget Sound's first fall head races -- 5.8 kilometers (5800 meters)

Rowers, Paddlers Dragon Boaters start in Lake Washington Ship Canal near Seattle Pacific University
boat dock (end of 3rd Ave W off W. Nickerson St.), follow shoreline to south Lake Union, make a
long sweeping turn around the permanent red buoy and head north toward the yellow speed buoys. FINISH LINE: College Club Seattle boathouse.

New! Coach/Cox Meeting begins at 6 am at Gas Works Park, 2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103. Pick up packets at the same location starting at 5 am.

Launching begins at 6:40 a.m.

Racing starts at 7:30 a.m.


Launch/trailer sites: There are two official launch sites for the Seattle Row for the Cure.

There is trailer parking at both sites. Please contact the registrar by Wednesday, September 11, 2019 if you are bringing a trailer. We will assign you a parking spot at one of the sites.

Paddlers launch from the public boat launch at 2301 NE Northlake Way, (east of Gas Works Park).

Parking is limited.  Please carpool, walk or ride a bicycle!

NOTE:  No visiting clubs/rowers to launch from Seattle Rowing Center.  


Pocock Rowing Center

Launching: Pull away from the dock with caution and follow the north shore of Lake Union, around Gas Works Park, past Lake Washington Rowing Club to the Fremont Bridge. Then enter the warm-up pattern described in the next section.

Return: Wait under the I-5 Bridge to be called into the dock.

Lake Washington Rowing Club

Launching: Pull away from the dock with caution and row towards the Fremont bridge. Then enter the warm-up pattern described in the next section.

Return: Clear the finish line and cut across towards Gas Works Park.  Follow the shore back to LWRC.

University of Washington

Launching: Stay to the right as you make your way to the warm up area. Take extreme caution when passing by Pocock Rowing Center and College Club, which is the event finish line. 

Return: Continue past Pocock Rowing Center and head back to UW. Again take extreme caution as you pass by Pocock Rowing Center.

MOHI Dock (Dragon Boats) 

Launching: Secure referee's permission to cross the race course. Cross with extreme caution. Head straight up the lake, and follow the race course traffice pattern once getting to the Gas Works park area. 

Return: Return, again by going down the center of the lake, and again, secure referee permission to cross the course to reach the dock.

If the race is in progress, wait for permission from the officials’ launch to cross the course.

Please return bow numbers to the Pocock Rowing Center or the dock masters at the official launch sites.

WARMUP PATTERN (Click image for a larger view.)

  • Crews come up hugging the north shore of the ship canal.
  • The warm-up pattern runs counter-clockwise around the buoys.
  • All crews must go around the buoy on the east side, of the Ballard bridge
  • Crews must be at the staging area 4 minutes before their start time.
  • Crews should line up in order of bow number. Take care not to block the warm-up pattern.
  • A course marshal will call crews in pairs in order out of the staging area.
  • Cox’ns and scullers must keep 15 seconds between boats.
  • A second course marshal will instruct your boat to proceed and then to increase the pressure 100m before the start.

RACE COURSE (Click image for a larger view.)

To enter the warm-up pattern at the start, hug the north shore of Lake Union. Be mindful of other crews in the ship canal. It is narrow so hug the shore.

Passing IS allowed on the race course in the ship canal.

  1. No passing zones in the warm-up lane. Any crew or individual rower entering the warm up lanes (while racing) or racing lanes (while warming up) may be excluded.  Referee will determine this based on the circumstances.

  2. Boats must keep to the right/starboard side of the waterway at all times during the race and follow the established buoy marked course. In areas where there are no buoys, boats should keep to the right of the waterway. Traffic patterns should be observed during practice just as during the race. (Please refer to the regatta map).

  3. A boat may pass on the port side with exception to the turn at the South end of Lake Union. Boats must pass on the starboard, or outside of the buoy.

  4. Crossing a buoy. Where buoys mark the boundaries of the course a crew or individual rower will be penalized 10 seconds for each buoy they pass incorrectly.

  5. Navigational buoy at the South End of Lake Union. If a crew holds down (port side) while making this turn the crew will be excluded. All rowers must keep rowing!  NOTE: If a crew has to hold down to avoid colliding with another crew the referee stationed there will take note and make an allowance for this. Again, pass on the starboard side, or away from the buoys.

  6. Interference. Interference with another crew either failing to yield safely to allow a boat to pass (blocking their path intentionally) or the passing boat not allowing time for the crew they are passing to yield to the passer safely will result in a penalty being assessed. It will be at the referee’s discretion as to the penalty assessed.

  7. A detailed review of the race course and traffic patterns will be presented at the coach/coxswain meeting. It is crucial that at least one representative from your organization attends this briefing. There is always the possibility of last minute changes in the course layout and/or implementation of regatta procedures neither of which will be covered here.


10 seconds

  • Late to the start
  • No bow number
  • No bib number

30 seconds

  • Failure to yield

60 seconds

  • Interference with another crew
  • Each missed buoy


First Aid:  Should there be a need for First Aid, please report to Regatta headquarters at the Pocock Rowing Center or dock masters at official launch sites.

Bow Balls:  Each rowing shell must have an intact bow ball, bow clip and heel ties where applicable.

Regatta Safety Plan: Download a copy of the RFTC Safety Plan for your own reference.