John Bennett Regatta

  • Hosted By: West Side Rowing Club

John Bennett Regatta 2021

Regatta Format:

Coaches Coxswain Meeting 8:00am

Time Trials Start 9:00am

         -        All races will be 1,500-meters.

  • All events will be run as 1,500-meter Time Trials.  Crews will begin rowing above the Ferry Street Lift Bridge and their time will begin when they cross the starting line.
  • The top 4 Varsity crews from the Time Trial will advance to the finals. *
  • The top 4 Novice crews from the Time Trial will advance to the finals. *
  • The start of each final will be a floating start.  All coxswains must listen and respond to the starting official to ensure a fair start.  Failure to comply with the starting official will result in disqualification.
  • In the event finals cannot be rowed due to weather, individual medals will be awarded based on the Time Trials.

*  All sculling events will advance to 4 boat finals.


  • The John Bennett Regatta is rowed over 1,500 meters of the Black Rock Canal.  Crews will begin racing at the Ferry Street Lift Bridge and race south to the West Side Rowing Club.
  • There will be a slight head current on the course, as crews will be racing from north to south along the Canal.  Wind speed and direction will be determined on the day of the race.


Launch Site:

  • All crews will launch from the docks located at the West Side Rowing Club. 
  • Crews will be called to the water no more than 45 minutes prior to the start of the event.
  • All crews must launch with bows pointed towards the Canal.
  • There will be a 60-second limit for all crews on the dock.  The dock master will have the authority to impose penalties for excessive time on the dock.
  • It is suggested that all crews have coaches and teammates to help with oars and clear shoes from the dock in an efficient manner.
  • When you leave the dock for the Time Trials, crews must stay to the east side (City side) of the Canal as they make their way to the start.  Crews that interfere with racing boats on their way to the start will be assessed a penalty.  No crew on their way to the start should proceed through the Ferry Street Lift Bridge until the Marshall on the water clears them to do so.
  • When crews leave the dock for the finals, each crew must cross to the west side (river side) of the canal and make their way to the start.  All crews must proceed to the start single file. Crews that interfere with racing boats on their way to the start will be assessed a penalty.  No crew on their way to the start should proceed through the Ferry Street Lift Bridge until the Marshall on the water clears them to do so.


Starting Area:

  • All crews must be in the marshaling area at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the event.
  • Boats will be started in order of their bow numbers at approximately 15-second intervals for the heats. 
  • Boats arriving late to the start may lose their starting position or be excluded from the event at the discretion of the Starting Line Official.


Passing on the Race Course (Time Trial Heats only):


A crew is deemed to be overtaking another crew when it has moved to within one length of open water of the crew ahead...A crew being overtaken shall move to the right and allow the overtaking crew to pass. – 2013 Rules of Rowing, Appendix to Article VIII.b

  • Any violation of the passing rules will result in a 30 second penalty.

Buoys on the Race Course:

  • A detailed course map is available on the West Side website (

Finish Area:

  • All races will conclude in front of the West Side Rowing Club.  There will be an official on land that will use an air horn to signal the finish of the race.  The horn will sound once for each crew crossing the line.
  • Once crews have crossed the finish line, they must keep rowing until they reach the red buoy beyond the Fontana Boathouse.  Once crews have reached that point, they must turn to their port (towards the city) and begin rowing back towards the boathouse. 
  • All crews must stay between the wall and the red buoys when returning to the docks.  Crews that enter the racecourse and interfere with racing boats will be given a 30-second penalty. 

Return Dock:

  • All crews will be returning to the Fontana Boathouse docks. 
  • There is a 60-second time limit on the dock.
  • It is suggested that all coaches have the athletes shoes stored near the return dock and additional athletes to help clear the oars from the return dock area as crews come in.

Weigh Ins:

In an effort to promote safe weight loss practices for athletes and to ensure a fair level of competition at the regatta, there will be NO weigh-ins for all Lightweight events at the 2021 John Bennett Regatta.






155 lbs.



135 lbs.




Coxswains do not weigh in for this regatta.

If a person cannot make weight, a substitution can be made on race day or the crew will have the option to enter the Varsity 8 or Varsity 4 events.

Definition of Categories:

Freshman/Novice: Began Competitive rowing after August 1, 2020 OR is in Grade 9 or lower.

Junior Varsity: events are restricted to competitors in the junior year (11th grade) or lower. Juniors, including coxswains, must not have attained the age of 18 years prior to September 1, 2020.

Second Varsity 8: A program must enter the Varsity eight in order to enter a second eight.

Varsity: Any age athlete

Lightweight: Any athlete that is at or below the specified weight for the event they are competing in. 135lbs for women and 155lbs for men

Hot Seating:

  • Hot seating boats or rowers requires a minimum of 45 minutes separation, but is always done so at your own risk.  We will not wait for your crew!


Entry Information:

  • All entries must be submitted on    
  • Payment can be made on the day of the event.
  • Please make checks payable to “The West Side Rowing Club”



Day of Event Registration:

  • Registration packets will be available in the upstairs Board room of the West Side Rowing Club on the day of the event. 
  • Each packet will contain bow numbers as well as back numbers and safety pins for each entry that requires a heat.
  • Course maps and additional race information will also be included in the regatta packets.
  • All entry fees must be paid in full before a program will receive their entry packet.



Event Parking:

  • The main lot of the West Side Rowing Club will be reserved for trailer parking only. 
  • There will be a shuttle bus transporting coaches and athletes from Front Park and LaSalle Park to Cotter’s Point beginning at 6AM and concluding after the last race.
  • Additional parking information will be posted one week prior to the event.


Contingency Plan:

  • All crews will be notified on May 1 if the canal conditions require the race to be canceled.
  • In the event of unrowable water on race day:
    • We will run as many of the time trials as possible with changes to the race order only if necessary.  Should it become clear that we cannot get all of the trials in we may change the order of events to make sure the higher events are run.
    • Race day can/will be extended until 6pm if there is a possibility the water will become rowable.
    • If FINALS need to be cancelled, the fastest qualifying times in the Time Trials will be awarded the medals.
    • If the Regatta Committee decides that all of the time trials or finals cannot be raced, and subsequently need to change the “order of racing”, the following will be the order: Senior (8+, 4+), Lightweight (8+, 4+), Junior  (8+, 4+), Senior 4x, Freshman/Novice 8+, Senior 2x, Freshman/Novice 4+.
    • If the regatta is canceled before any racing then your entries will be credited for next year’s regatta.


  • 1st Place Medals will be awarded to the first place crews of each event


Order of Events:

  • Coaches Coxswain Meeting 8:00am
  • The first Time Trial will begin at 9:00am.
  • The first Final will begin immediately after the last Time Trial ends.