Head of the Hudson

  • Sep 18, 2021
  • head
  • Albany, NY (USA)
  • Hosted By: O.A.R.S., Inc. dba Albany Rowing Center


  • An abbreviated coaches and coxswains meeting will be held at 7:00 AM on the day of the race.  Course information, rules and last minute schedule changes will be discussed. Please make sure that the appropriate rowers/representatives from your club are present (coxswains, single scullers, and bow seats of doubles and quads).


  • Please do not approach the dock without first checking your boat to ensure that it has a bow ball and heel ties. These important safety rules will be strictly enforced, and there will not be time for you to make repairs on the dock.


  • Each crew must launch 20 minutes before the start of its event.
  • After launching, crews must wait for an all-clear signal from the launch before crossing the course to the travel lane.
  • Once cleared to cross the course, crews should proceed to the far shore as quickly as possible and then proceed north along the eastern (Rensselaer) shore of the river. When traveling under the (I-90) bridge, do not use the arch closest to shore, it is shallow and hazardous. Otherwise keep reasonably close to the far shore and out of the buoyed race lane.
  • Any crew arriving at the start after the last boat in their event has started, but not crossed the finish, will be timed at the discretion of the officials. Any crew arriving at the start after the last boat in their event has crossed the finish line will not be timed.


  • Crews should row up, well past the starting line, but not go north of the overhead power lines.Once in the pre-start area, crews should try to line up in bow-number order. The starting-line official will be in a launch directing crews to enter the starting-chute marked with orange buoys. At that point rowers should be at half to three-quarter power. Green buoys mark the point at which crews should begin full power so that they will be up to speed when they cross the official start line.
  • Crews start the race north of the I-90 Bridge opposite the red triangle (navigation mark), proceed south back through the I-90 bridge (be aware of the abutments!) and then through the railroad bridge. Even though the course is relatively straight it is slightly deceptive near the railroad bridge.  Bow seats and coxswains, please be aware there is a slight adjustment to get through the arch. The finish line is at the Corning Preserve Amphitheater.
  • When approaching the finish line it is important to stay closer to the center of the river and in the race lane to avoid collisions with returning crews. Crews must continue paddling well past the finish and around the turning buoy so as not to impede other boats that are finishing.
  • Crews will be instructed by a marshal to turn upriver on the eastern (Albany) shore toward the receiving docks.


  • Crews may pass on either side.
  • Crews being overtaken must not impede the overtaking crew.
  • Passing crews must stay well clear of the shell being overtaken and must maintain their lane until they are least two boat lengths ahead.
  • Passing is not allowed, nor is the crew being overtaken required to yield, in cases where the overtaking crew’s position clearly prevents safe passage or where there is insufficient room to yield.
  • Overtaking crews are encouraged to communicate to the boat they are passing which direction they would like the slower crew to move.
  • Failure to yield right of way may result in a 60 second penalty.
  • Any boat rowing out of either the travel or race lane earns a disqualification.
  • Any notification of a foul must be given to the finish line marshal.
  • Any protest that is not upheld, earns a disqualification for that boat.


  • Returning crews should row in single file up the from the finish line turning buoy, through the railroad bridge arch closest to shore, taking care to keep out of the race lane. Be aware there may be a back-up, as dock space is limited. Eights will be retrieved on the launch dock, smaller boats will be retrieved on the return dock at the boat-ramp. Once on the dock be as quick as possible to accommodate other returning crews.