Head of the South

  • Hosted By: Augusta Rowing Club, Inc.
  • USRowing Sanctioned Regatta

2023 Head of the South Regatta Rules


There will be no refunds for scratched entries at any time. 

Late Registration

Late Registration begins Thursday, November 2nd at 12am. All late entry fees will be as listed.

Practice Schedule

The race course will be available for practice on Friday, November 10th, from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, weather permitting. No shells will be allowed to launch after 4:30 pm and all shells must be off the water by 5:00pm. 

Practice is not allowed in the area above the start line. Marshals will be overseeing practice to observe traffic pattern and safety. Please follow their directions and be alert. Coaches and/or launches will not be allowed on the River during practice.


Weigh-In for lightweights will be held Friday, November 10th, from 4 pm to 6 pm and Saturday, November 11th , from 6:30 am to 10 am. Singles will be given preference during Saturday morning weigh-in. Shirts and shorts must be worn.

Only those not making weight Friday night may change events; those not making weight on Saturday morning will be scratched.

Crews must arrive at weigh-in at least one hour before launch time. All lightweights must weigh in by 10 am on Saturday; Friday weigh-ins are strongly encouraged. There will be no boat weight averaging for lightweights. Maximimum weight for Junior male rowers will be 150.0 pounds. Maximum weight for other male rowers is 160.0 pounds. Maximum weight for all female rowers is 130.0 pounds.

There will be no weigh-in for coxswains.


NOTE: for exact definitions of “Junior”, “Collegiate”, “Club”, “Masters”, “Novice”,, “Mixed”, , and “Lightweight” see Event Definitions.

a. There is no limit on the number of entries a given organization may make.

b. Wherever relevant, the age of a contestant as of December 31, 2023, governs eligibility.

c. Line-ups for all events must be submitted during online registration. No substitutions may be made in any Masters events after Wednesday, November 8, 2023. No substitutions may be made in Singles events at any time.

d. This is a USRowing Registered Regatta. All participating organizations must be USRowing members. Individuals do not need to be USRowing members.

Event Seeding

At the entry closing date, events will be seeded with complete and correct entries based on the 2021 HOTS results.

Bow Balls, Bow Marker Clips, and Heel Safety Ties

Control commission officials will monitor all launching boats. All boats must be equipped with bow marker clips and bow balls. Any boats without a securely attached bow ball will be declared unsafe and will not be permitted to race. Each foot stretcher must have an appropriate footgear quick release system with the heels tied no more than 3 inches from the board.

Bow Markers

Registrants will be furnished number plates and bow and stern rower pin-on numbers. Please return all number plates to the return dock or Regatta Headquarters. Crews not returning a number will be assessed a $10 fee.


20 second penalty – Incorrectly passing or 'cutting' a buoy

20 second penalty – Starting out of order or interfering with the staging of the start

20 second penalty - Traffic pattern violations and not obeying dock master or referee directions

20 second penalty – Unsportsmanlike conduct (this includes use of foul language)

30 second penalty – Interference, which includes failing to yield the right-of-way

Passing / Right of Way

In accordance with USRA Rules: 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 must safely yield the right of way. On straight sections of the course, a crew being overtaken shall yield to the right. In turns, the crew being overtaken shall yield to the outside of the turn and allow the overtaking crew to pass along the shorter path. Nevertheless, passing is not allowed, nor is the crew being overtaken required to yield, in cases where the overtaking crew’s position clearly prevents safe passage or where there is insufficient room to yield. Failure to yield will result in a 30 second penalty.

Passing between designated bridge spans is at your own risk.


All protests must be indicated on the water immediately following the finish of a race to an Official before the crew leaves the finish area. When a crew leaves the finish area, they forfeit the right to file a protest. Each protest must be filed in writing within 30 minutes of the last boat crossing the finish line for the race in question. A fee of $50.00 in cash must accompany each protest. Protests are to be taken to Regatta Headquarters or the Chief Referee. Each protest will be considered by a Jury of Licensed Officials.

The Course

The race is rowed downstream over a 5,000 meter course on the Savannah River. Please view the 2023 Map. Crews must launch from the launching dock and proceed upstream along the Georgia shore approximately 3 miles to a warm up area above the starting line. You will be directed by course marshals into the starting chute along the South Carolina half of the river. The boundaries of the course will be between the course buoys and the South Carolina shore. The 2500 meter midpoint of the course and last 1000 meters will be marked with specific buoys. Racing will continue past the boathouse and launch area and finish slightly downstream of the venue. Please row 100 meters past the finish line and turn your crew toward the Georgia shore and return to the assigned take-out dock. Marshals will be stationed at key points to ensure safety and to control traffic.

Boats proceeding to the start must not impede racing, nor cross the course at any point. Violators face disqualification or exclusion. Each entrant will be responsible for arriving at the starting line at least five minutes prior to the scheduled starting time. Entrants will start at 12-15 second intervals. The start will be in sequence of bow markers. Boats arriving more than 30 seconds after the last entrant has started will not be allowed to race. No racing starts or full pressure strokes are permitted, in any direction, in the marshaling area.

Launch and Return Docks

The dock master shall control all launching of shells. 4+, 4X, and 8+ shells will launch from the dock nearest the Augusta Rowing Club boathouse. 4+, 4X, and 8+ shells will return to the dock nearest the Regatta Headquarters building. 1X, 2-, and 2X shells have the option to launch and return from a third dock near the large warehouse building downstream (refer to map).

A limit of 2 people may accompany boats on the docks. They must be carrying oars/shoes/etc. and vacate the dock once the items have been delivered/collected.

First Call

You should plan to launch 45 minutes  to 1 hour before your event. Look at the line and plan ahead. There will NOT be calls to the water. Please be on time.

Hot Seating

No hot seating will be allowed.

Results and Awards

Results will be posted on HereNOW

Medals will be awarded throughout the day. Medals will be awarded to all first, second, and third-place finishers, in all divisions, provided there are at least four entries. Awards will be given to organizations achieving the greatest total points in the regatta for Youth and Collegiate events. Points will be accumulated by event using the Modified Barnes Point System. Composite crews do not earn any points.

Concessions and Vendor Sales

Food will be available for purchase in the vendor area all day Saturday.


2023 Head of the South Event Definitions

Please Note: Due to changes in NCAA rules, we have added several entry options and modified entry definitions to accommodate both women’s collegiate varsity and youth/junior teams for this regatta. These definitions are also applicable to coxswains.

“Collegiate Varsity” Programs: This defines a women’s rowing program as an NCAA sponsored sport at an institution and administered by a department of intercollegiate athletics which certifies the eligibility of the student-athletes. This definition applies to all athletes and boatings from this program including first, second, third, etc. boatings; “JV” boats; “subvarsity” athletes and boats; “novice” athletes and boats; lightweight athletes and boats; freshman athletes and boats; and all coxswains.

“Youth or Junior” Programs: This defines a scholastic or non scholastic program with students who are classified by age according to Section 4-104 of the USRA Rules of Rowing. This definition applies to all athletes and boatings from these programs including first, second, third, etc. boatings; “JV” boats; “subvarsity” athletes and boats; “novice” athletes and boats; lightweight athletes and boats; freshman athletes and boats; and all coxswains.

Championship: This event is open to collegiate varsity teams, collegiate club teams, master’s crews, and all non youth entries. Individual youth athletes including youth coxswains are not allowed in these events.

Club: This event is open to collegiate varsity teams, collegiate club teams, master’s crews, and all non youth entries including individual youth athletes and youth coxswains. These events, however, are limited to persons (including coxswains) who, in any sculling or sweep-oared event (master events excepted), did not compete beyond quarter finals of the Henley Royal Regatta or finish among the top six places in any of the following regattas: NCAA Championships, IRA, Canadian Henley, EARC, EAWRC, PAC-10, Dad Vail, any major international regatta, any national, international or world championships or any national team selection trials, during the current calendar year.

Youth: This event is open to scholastic and non scholastic junior crews only.

Master (singles): These events are organized by category in three groupings: 1) AA, A, and B; 2) C, D, and E; 3) F, H, I, and J. These events are age-handicapped using the formula established in the USRowing Rules of Rowing prorated for the length of the course. A table showing the handicaps for any given age is available upon request.

Master (crews): These events are open to all competitors at least 21 years old as of December 31 of the current calendar year. For crews, the age - handicap is based on the average age of the rowers.

Freshman: These events are open to students in their first year of school.

Novice: These events are open to those athletes who have not competed prior to November 11, 2022.

Lightweight: For this regatta there are no boat average weights. Individual male rowers must weigh 160.0 pounds or less. Individual female rowers must weigh 130.0 pounds or less.  Junior male rowers must weigh 150.0 pounds or less.

Coxswains: There is no minimum weight limit for coxswains. Coxswains may be of either gender. Youth coxswains may only be used in youth events or in those events where no collegiate varsity athletes or boats are entered – with prior approval from the Chief Referee and Regatta Director.

Mixed: These entries must consist of 50% men and 50% women.