Wichita Frostbite Regatta

  • Hosted By: Wichita Rowing Association

Frostbite Regatta Rules & Race Requirements

Trailer Parking Notice:

  1. One (1) trailer per team will be allowed to park in the Primary Lot; this trailer will get a parking stall based on a first-come first-served basis (see map)
  2. Additional trailers are allowed without petition submissions (described below); however, they may not be parked in the Primary Lot and must be parked in the Overflow Lot (see map)
  3. If parking for an additional trailer is desired in the Primary Lot, a team may petition for one. Teams must inform the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of their trailer requests by email to wichitafrostbite@yahoo.com by October 25th. Petitions will NOT be accepted after this date. Trailer petitions will be evaluated after this date and teams will be informed of approval by October 27th.  Approval shall be granted at the discretion of the LOC. The location of the additional trailer will be assigned by the LOC (note: this may mean the additional trailer is not adjacent to the team primary trailer).

Map is subject to change at the discretion of the LOC. Zoom in on the map for more detail. If you would like a copy of the image file, contact the Regatta Chair. Click here for a full image. 

Regatta Weekend Practices:

  • Crews will be allowed to practice on Friday and Saturday prior to the regatta.   However, coach launches will not be allowed on the water Friday, Saturday or Sunday.    Also, Crews will not be allowed on the water after sunset.   

Crew Classifications:

  • Collegiate:  An athlete who is currently enrolled full-time in a college, university, or community college.
  • Novice:  A novice is defined as a rower or coxswain who is in their first year of competition.   In the Novice events, all rowers must be novices by this definition. For safety considerations, the coxswain in a Novice entry need not be in their first year.
  • Open:  Any competitor that is not a female Junior or female High School rower. 
  • Masters:  A competitor who has, or will, attain 21 years of age by December 31 of the current calendar year.  Age fraction is rounded down.  A Masters crew shall include only Masters Rowers; however the coxswain need not be of Master’s age.  The, US Rowing handicap formula, with 2.45 multiplier, will be used for rowers over the age of 27.
  • Juniors:  A rower, sculler or coxswain who, in the current calendar year, has not attained the age of 19 and who is a member of a Junior Rowing Program.
  • Recreational Single:  A recreational single shall be no more than 24 feet long and at least 17 inches wide at the water line.
  • Lightweight Women:   Maximum individual weight is 135 lbs.  There is no averaging of rower weights.   There will be no weigh-ins; you are on the honor system.
  • Lightweight Men:   Maximum individual weight is 165 lbs.  There is no averaging of rower weights.   There will be no weigh-ins; you are on the honor system.
  • Mixed Crew: Crew typically made up of men and women rowers in equal numbers; although crews with more women rowers than men rowers will be allowed to compete in this event as long as there is at least one male rower.  The coxswain can be either sex but does not count towards the mixed rower numbers.

Shell Safety Requirements:

For the Safety of all participants, all shells are required to have Bow balls conforming to the 'US Rowing Rules of Rowing'.  Failure to have a bow ball may result in a penalty.  Additional safety requirements include quick heel release devices being installed on all shells in the Frostbite Regatta.  All of these items are the responsibility of the individual Crew, their Coaches and their Program.  Coaches are responsible for ensuring that their athletes are familiar with rowing safety.  Masters and Club rowers must also be aware of all equipment safety requirements.

Race Course:

The Race Course is on the Little Arkansas River through Riverside Park in Wichita, Kansas.  The race distance is approximately 2450 m, approximately the Henley Regatta race distance.  The race start is just south of the 11th Street Bridge and the finish is at the Ralph Wulz Tennis Center.  Shortly past the finish line, and around the bend in the river, is a dam that the crews must stay back from.  There are three bridges on the race course and bends and curves along most of the race course.

Race Course Details:

  • The race course is fully buoyed from start to finish.  Bridge arches for warm up and race lanes are marked by large signs with green arrows. 
  • Yellow buoys separate the warm up lane from the race course. 
  • Orange buoys are hazard buoys indicating hidden obstacles and/or shallow water.  Green buoys are used to lead into Bridge arches between race lanes.  Shells may go on either side of green buoys and crews may be directed by officials to go to one side or the other.
  • Coxswains use the right hand rule when going upstream and downstream.
  • After crossing the finish line crews must clear the finish line area and proceed to the turnaround buoy past the finish line.  Crews are to continue to row and row immediately to the dock in the return lane.  Caution:  There is a dam just past the finish line; stay back from dam area.

Race Times:

Boats will not be allowed to row outside their scheduled times.  Dock space is limited  The Dock Masters will do what they can to accommodate hot-seating crews; however, quick dock access is not guaranteed.   Hot seat at your own risk.

Bow Markers:

For the safety of all crews and to insure proper identification of crews, bow markers are required on all boats.  Bow Markers will be provided and must be returned to the Dock Master immediately after the race has concluded.  Crews failing to return the Shell Bow Marker will be assessed a $5.00 fee per bow marker. 

Race Day Activities

First Aid:

On Race Day the Wichita Fire Department will be on standby in the launch area for medical emergencies.  Basic first aid kit and ice will be available at the registration table on Saturday and at the PA tent on Sunday.  

Calling of Events:

  • First call for an event will occur 45 minutes prior to the event. 
  • Second call for an event will occur 35 minutes prior to the event.
  • Launch time is 30 minutes prior to event.
  • The best effort will be made to launch Crews in numerical order.
  • Each crew will be allotted 90 seconds to launch or land their boat on the dock.
  • Coxswains are to follow the directions of the Dock Master, who can assess a penalty for crews not complying with instructions.
  • Crews shall clear the dock area immediately upon launching.
  • Crews are to make their equipment adjustments in the boat storage area or on the water.  No equipment adjustments will be permitted at the Launch Dock.
  • To insure proper identification of crews, bow markers are required on all boats.  Bow Markers will be provided and must be returned to the Dock Master immediately after the race has concluded.  Crews failing to return the Shell Bow Marker will be assessed a $5.00 fee per bow marker.


  • Crews are encouraged to stay in numerical order while rowing upstream.  Prior to reaching the start line staging area, crews should line up in order of bow marker numbers, lowest to highest.
  • Be at the staging area at least five minutes prior to the start of your race. 
  • Think Safety, Please be aware of smaller, and/or slower shells that you may overtake during your warm-up.
  • Caution must be exercised by all crews with regard to encroachment into the race course during warm-up.  Crews shall also stay clear of bridge pillars, obstructions and shallow areas

Race Start:

  • The Wichita Frostbite Regatta is a Head Race and as such is a flying start with shells starting in single file at 10 second intervals. 
  • Coxswains are to approach the starting line as directed by the Starting Official.
  • Think Safety: Please be aware of smaller, and/or slower shells that you may overtake during the race.
  • Caution must be exercised by all crews with regard to encroachment into the warm-up lane while racing.  Crews shall also stay clear of bridge pillars, obstructions and shallow areas. 


Faster shells must be given the shortest route and the right of way.  When passing another shell, the overtaking shell has the right of way, but the coxswain is obliged to make it apparent to the crew ahead on which side the coxswain wishes to pass.  The crew being overtaken must give the overtaking shell room to pass, usually on the inside of the curve.  If, in the opinion of the officials, insufficient room is given, an interference penalty will be assessed.  No crew shall press its right of way to the point of collision.  Respect for the safety of other competitors must be shown at all times.


Time Penalties may be assessed for the following conditions:

  • Buoy violation:  Buoy penalties will be assessed when the blades cross the yellow buoy line separating the warm- up/return lane from the race lanes.  These penalties will apply no matter which direction the shell is proceeding.  Penalties are assessed for the first buoy and for each and every buoy afterwards.    A shell hull crossing the yellow buoy line shall be assessed an additional penalty.  A shell that is in the warm-up/return lane that interferes with a shell in the race lanes will be assessed an interference penalty.  No penalties will be accessed for crossing over orange hazard buoy lines or for crossing over the green buoy lines. The orange and the green bouys indicate bridge/submerged obstructions/shallow water hazards and those hazards may impose their own penalties.
  • Yellow Buoy violation - blades:  10 seconds per buoy (blades crossing the buoy line between warm up/return and racing lanes.  No penalty for blades crossing into hazard areas)
  • Yellow Buoy violation – hull:  30 seconds.
  • Failure to follow Dock-Master instructions:  10 seconds, possible disqualification
  • Missed order at Start: 10 seconds.
  • No bow marker at Start: 10 seconds.
  • Late to Start: 10 seconds.
  • Failure to yield:  30 seconds.
  • Interference:  30 seconds..
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct:  Disqualification. 


All protests must be made within 30 minutes of the finish of the race.  A $50.00 protest fee must be turned in at the registration table at the Regatta Headquarters in the Ralph Wulz Tennis Center.   The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld.


Race times and results will be posted as quickly and efficiently as possible.  Results will be at the Regatta Headquarters (shown on the map above).


Medals will be awarded to first, second, third place crews.  Medals will not be awarded to single entry events (i.e. no participation medals). For events with only three (3) entries, only first and second place medals will be awarded. First place crews will be awarded a Frostbite Logo Medal.

Clean Up:

Please help us keep our Park beautiful!  Waste containers are provided throughout the Regatta area.  Please be a good sport and leave your area clean.  

Entries and Scratches:

Late entries are accepted until the date listed on Dates & Deadlines; they will incur a penalty fee.  Late entries will also most likely be placed at the back of the event draw.  Scratches will not be refunded after Noon CST Oct 31 .

Food Vendors

If any crew wishes to sell or take donations for food, the crew must do so in the designated vendor area (shown on the map above), have a city vendor license, and inform the LOC in an email by October 1.

THANK YOU for your help in making the Frostbite Regatta SAFE and Enjoyable for ALL!