Head Up The Creek

  • Hosted By: False Creek Rowing Club
  • Sanctioned by RCA and Rowing BC (2023)

Some useful tips: 

If you are dropping a trailer off the night before, please let us know at [email protected] so we can arrange for overnight security otherwise there will be none. We will need know this as soon as possible.

Buy a day parking pass: they will ticket you if you don't have one. If you are bringing boats either on the roof of your car, or by trailer we will provide you with a parking pass.

Wet launching is an option and might be much quicker than waiting for the dock.

City of Vancouver Rowing Champion

The overall winner of the regatta is appointed the City of Vancouver Rowing Champion and get their names emblazoned on the perpetual trophy and get swag, as well as a CAKE. The selection of overall winner is determined by comparing predicted times loosely based on RCA Gold Standards (which account for gender and boat type) and RCA masters age handicapping (extended to younger rowers), by boat type, stated gender and age, able bodied and para status. And we also take into account the turns your boats make and the impact that has on your speed.

Boat Classes and Entries

The race is open to 8+, 4+, 4x, 4x+, 2x and 1x entries. 4x+ entries should submit their entries under the 4x category. There are no pairs or straight four entries permitted.

Each boat type is open to crews of any age from Under 15 to really really old. Crew age is based on crew average and there is no requirement for all members to be under a certain age. For example: a 26 year old racing with three 14 year olds is therefore in a boat with a boat average of 17, qualifying them as Youth or Under 19 crew for prize determination. They might also find parents (and graduates of various Safe Sport courses) who do not think highly of at least 1 person's actions waiting for them at the dock.

Novice Entries

If you (and your entire crew if you are rowing a crew boat) started rowing after January 1st, 2022 you may enter as a "Novice" entry. When you go to sign up, select "Novice" at the bottom of the entry form.

Crew Height

If everyone in the boat being entered is below either 165 cm tall (5'5") or 180 cm (5'11") tall, please select this option. It is optional, and I am trying to collect data as to how this could be used for prizes. 


Regardless of your age, please sign up by boat type/sex. If you don't want to declare your gender or sex, please include your registration in the "mens" category. Regatta Central provides us the details we need to identify your prize category. There is a flag in the entry form to indicate novice crews (see above). 

Able bodied and para entries are all racing the same distance this year: about 3.5 km.

National Team members are welcome to row, but must row as part of a member club of RCA. 


Your bow balls must be at least the minimum size, well attached and functional. Heel ties may only allow the heel to rise up a maximum of 7 cm and you must be able to release your shoes with a single hand.

The waterway is not closed to other marine traffic and under the Transport Canada Vessel Operating Restriction Regulations, everyone has right of way over racing shells. However, it is late October and we are working with the ferry operators to ensure a safe regatta.  

The weather is frequently cold at this time of year. Staying warm is more important than uniforms. We appreciate you displaying your club colours but please don't do so if it means you get cold. You can wear Halloween Costumes if it is your desire to do so...

Ferries, barges and commercial traffic have right of way over racing vessels. Safety boats and course marshals will be assisting the ferry operators in charting safe courses during the event.

I do not believe that it has snowed before October 31st in the past 40 years, but in the event of inclement weather we will not be racing.

If you fall in, get out of the water as fast as you can - climb onto the stern of your boat at the very least. Rescued rowers will not be allowed to continue racing: you may be warmer if you are assisted back into your boat and row back to the launch dock, but that decision will be made in conjunction with the person rescuing you.


Boats should launch in order of start. The earlier you launch, the better chance you have of having a look at the course and seeing where the pirate fleet is anchored on the Creek. We will start the race on time. If you make an appearance after the other crews have started racing you may be placed at the end of the launch queue and no warm up for you. As boats can row up to the start while racing begins, races may begin without you. Boats not presenting themselves to the start marshal within 1 minute of the last boat of the crews previously assembled in the marshalling area may be considered scratched at the discretion of the starter.

There will also be recognition of crews that launch efficiently and those that dawdle. It's not that big a dock that we can't see you.

Bow numbers will be handed out at the Control Commission. 

We ask that boats please launch in start sequence: big boats first and small boats after so that we can maintain the start time. If everyone gets with the program then there is no need to wet launch. 

Scratching from your event: 

Please inform the control commission if you are not participating in your scheduled event. Your entry fees are forfeited, but there are no additional scratch fees.