Kings Head XXXV Regatta on the Schuylkill

  • Hosted By: Upper Merion Boat Club
  • USRowing Sanctioned Regatta

The Upper Merion Boat Club for Competitive and Recreational Rowing (UMBCCRR, or UMBC) was chartered September 9, 1986 and incorporated as a Pennsylvania Non-Profit Corporation in February 1988.  UMBC is the host and proud sponsor of the King's Head Regatta on the Schuylkill, launched by A. G. Tom Pappanastasiou following a Club meeting on November 11, 1986 where a recommendation to the Executive Committee was made to sponsor a Head Race regatta on September 27, 1987. 

Following its initial success, the Kings Head has been held annually on the last Sunday in September for over 30 years -- with only a single date change during this time so as not to conflict with Pope Francis' 2015 visit to Philadelphia.

The first Regatta brochure advertised the event as "a 2-3/4 mile race on a wide, gently curving, protected section of the Schuylkill River through the communities of Port Indian, King of Prussia, Abrams, Norristown and Bridgeport, just below the Valley Forge National Historical Park." For over 30 years, athletes have continued to compete over this 4500 meter course.

In 1987 Tom Pappanastasiou promoted the Kings Head at the Dad Vail, Stotesbury Cup, other Philadelphia regattas and at the Masters Nationals in Lake Placid. Note the 'ahead of its time' creative traveling display. Old timers may recall KHR posters stapled to trees along Boathouse Row.

The first KHR included entries from Alden Ocean Shell Association, Bachelors BC, Baltimore RC, Brigantine RC, Crescent BC, Carnegie Lake RA, Cassadilla BC, California YC, Franklin & Marshall College, Fairmount RA, Interlachen RC, LaSalle University, Malta BC, Penn AC RA, Potomac BC, Philadelphia Girls RC, Ridley Grad BC, Sagamore RC, Stockton State College, University BC, Undine BC, Upper Merion BC, University of Pennsylvania BC, United States Army, Vesper BC, Villanova University BC, Viking RA, Washington College BC, Wilmington BC.

The Chief Judge and Referee was Michael Bergen with assistance from USRowing officials Ned Thomas and Tom Moore.   Michael Bergen served as the Chief Judge and/or Start Line Referee for 22 consecutive years.

        Article published in Times Herald September 28, 1987 first King's Head Regatta

Viking RC's Scott Jones competes at King's Head IV September 23, 1990

UMBCCRR is an Organizational member of United States Rowing Association