Head of the Passaic

  • Hosted By: Nereid Boat Club, Inc., Passaic River Rowing Association (PRRA)
  • 2022 Registered Regatta

Rules of the 2022 Head of the Passaic Regatta


a. All entries must be registered via Regatta Central and paid for by the deadline posted on Regatta Central.  Late entries may be accepted at the discretion of the Race Director.  Late entries that are accepted will be assessed an additional late entry fee equal to 50% of the entry fee. Unpaid entries will not be permitted to race.

b. Complete registration information must be submitted by the registration deadline.  Missing or fictitious ages, names, abbreviations, initials, etc. must be corrected by the registration deadline.  Entries with incomplete information will be deemed scratched and treated as such.

c. Scratched entries will be refunded their entry fees up until the registration deadline.  Entries scratched after that deadline will not be refunded.

d. Events at the HOPR must have a minimum of two entries.  Races with only one entry may be combined with another event or canceled.  In the event of race cancellation due to insufficient entries, the entry fee will be refunded.

e. Should the Regatta be cancelled by the Race Director prior to race day, entry fees shall be refunded.  Races cancelled on the day of the Regatta due to river conditions or inclement weather will not be refunded.

f. The Regatta is registered with USRowing and accepts the once-a-year USRowing waiver. Each athlete must have executed an official USRowing Release of Liability waiver and completed any USRowing-required SafeSport training in order to compete in the regatta. To submit the online waiver, both US and International athletes will need to Join or Renew as a Basic Member (FREE) at https://membership.usrowing.org/. For more information on submitting your waiver, visit USRowing or contact USRowing at 800-314-4ROW or [email protected].


a.  Prior to the Regatta, starting order will be determined by random lot.  Bow numbers will be assigned to each boat according to this order and distributed along with a schedule in race-day Registration Packets.  Boats will be called to the PRRA launch dock by race number and bow numbers.  Boats launching from other locations will be called at the discretion of their dockmasters.  Boats on the river must position themselves in the marshaling area (marked on the course map) so they can start in bow number sequence.  Bow numbers will be collected at the return docks.

b. The Starter will space boats so that each shell crosses the starting line at regular intervals.

c. Blue/green buoys will approximate both the start and finish lines.

d. The race will be officiated by US Rowing Referees.  Boats must be alert to the possibility that they may receive directions from officials at the start, finish, dock, or in safety launches.  They must follow any such directions in an expeditious manner.


a. A boat is deemed to be overtaking another when it has moved to within one length of open water of the boat ahead. On those portions of the course that are straight, a boat being overtaken shall move closer to the shore and allow the overtaking boat to pass.

b. Where the course turns, a boat being overtaken shall move to the outside of the turn and allow the overtaking boat to pass along the shorter path.

c. Passing is not allowed, nor is the boat being overtaken required to yield, in cases where the overtaking boat’s position clearly prevents safe passage or where there is insufficient room to yield.

d. Passing is not allowed within 100 meters of and under bridges.  There are no exceptions.  See the designated "no passing" areas on the course map.

e. Care should be taken when turning around at the marshaling area or past the finish line. Boats racing have the right of way over all other boats.


a. Where buoys mark the boundaries of the course, and in particular mark turns on the course, a boat shall be penalized 10 seconds for each buoy passed incorrectly. A boat passes a buoy incorrectly when any part of its hull passes on the wrong side of the buoy.

b. Boats willfully missing their correct order at the start may be penalized 10 seconds.

c.  Boats failing to yield to a boat being summoned to the starting area, or otherwise interfering with the staging of the start, may be penalized 10 seconds by the Marshall or Starter.

d. Boats failing to yield to those having proper right of way shall be penalized 30 seconds.

e. Boats crossing the starting line without their required bow numbers shall be penalized 60 seconds.

f. Boats passing others in areas marked "no passing" shall be penalized 60 seconds for each violation.

g. Boats passing a bridge under an arch marked "non-navigable" shall be penalized 60 seconds for each violation.


a. All boats must be equipped with a protective "ball" on the bow or its anti-puncture equivalent as specified by the current version of the Rules of Rowing, rule 3-105, available from US Rowing.  Boats that fail to meet this rule will not be allowed to launch.

b. For boats with flexible-soled shoes attached to the foot stretchers, heels must be attached to the stretchers by a method allowing quick exit in case of emergency (“heel ties”). Boats will be inspected at the dock and must comply with this rule to be permitted to launch.

c. Each boat must display its assigned bow number and be equipped with a bow clip for this purpose.  No boat will be allowed to leave the dock without a bow number.


a. Participants will be classified according to the current version of the Rules of Rowing, available from US Rowing.  Masters rowers are 21 years of age and older.

b. Participants in Middle School events must be currently enrolled in grades 6-8.

c. Participants in High School events must be enrolled in High School, grades 9-12..

d. Participants in Collegiate events must be bona fide students enrolled at and representing accredited/chartered colleges or universities and eligible to compete in intercollegiate athletics.

e. Novice events are for participants in their first year of racing in that category, regardless of experience in younger categories.  For example, a rower in their 1st year as a Collegiate rower would be a novice, even if they previously rowed in High School.   All rowers in Varsity events cannot compete in Novice or Junior Varsity events.  Club and composite crews meeting these criteria are permitted.

f. Adaptive athletes must be officially pre-classified according to current USRowing standards as either AS (arms and shoulders only), TA (trunk and arms) or LTA (legs, trunk and arms).  All adaptive athletes (along with their able-bodied partners if applicable) must individually have the skill, experience and physical fitness to scull and navigate the race course in no more than 30 minutes.

g. Boats in mixed events must have an equal number of male and female rowers.

h. Handicaps will be utilized for all Masters races and will be determined using US Rowing guidelines, as published in the current Rules of Rowing.  Masters races may be split according to age categories, depending on the number of entries, at the discretion of the Race Director.  Participants are responsible for providing correct age information for Masters crews.  The Parent/Child event will not be handicapped and may be a mixed event, depending on the number of entries.

i. A single shell in the recreational single category can be no more than 24 feet long, with a deck beam of not less than 17 inches.

j. In the interest of fair competition, the Regatta reserves the right to rule on a crew’s eligibility and appropriate placement in any event.


a. Two-way traffic is maintained on the river.  Boats must not cross the race course at any time.  Whether approaching the starting line or racing down the course, at all times, boats must keep the red buoys near the center of the river on their port side and the yellow buoys near the shore on their starboard side.  Boats that are racing will be on the west side of the river, heading downstream.  Boats that are launching, landing, or proceeding to/from their docks must row in the buoy-designated lane on the east (upstream) side of the river.

b. Navigable arches of the 2 bridges on the course are indicated on the course map.  These are the arches closest to the middle of the river.  Buoys will indicate which arches must be used.

c. Boats are not allowed to pass others within 100 meters of each bridge.  No exceptions.

8.  AWARDS                              

a. For gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded, a minimum of three entries is required for each event or subcategory.  Rowers (and coxes) finishing first in their race will receive first-place medals, provided that the event has a minimum of two entries.  Second place medals will be awarded in events with a minimum of three entries.

b. The HOPR Points Trophy shall be awarded to the club amassing the greatest number of points at each year’s regatta.  One point is awarded for each rower of the winning boat in each race.  For example, the winning crew of an 8+ race will be awarded eight points, the winning crew of a 4x will be awarded four points, and the winner of a 1x event will be awarded one point.  Points will not be awarded to second or third place finishes.

c. The Robert J. DeVita Cup shall be awarded to the winning Men’s High School Varsity Coxed Four (4+).

d. The Ken Snapp Memorial Trophy shall be awarded to the winner of the Mens Masters 1x event.

e. The Beth Shergalis Memorial Trophy shall be awarded to the winner of the Womens Master 1x event.

f. Other awards or cups may be offered at the discretion of the Regatta Committee.


a. Good sportsmanship must prevail at all times.

b. Boats wishing to protest must first lodge the protest at the finish line to the finish line official(s), while still on the water.  The protesting rower(s) must then submit the protest in writing, along with a $50 fee (cash or check, payable to HOPR), to the Head Referee or his/her designee within one hour of reaching land.  The protest must be signed by a member of the protesting crew and represent that, to the best of their knowledge and belief, the facts contained are true and accurate.  The decision of the Head Referee/protest jury shall be final and may not be appealed.  If the decision is found to be in favor of the protesting crew or substantially justified, the protest fee will be returned to the protesting crew.  If the decision is against the protesting crew or the protest found unjustified, the fee will be retained.