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In the interest of conducting a safe and fair regatta for everyone, we expect every competitor and coach to read, fully understand and follow all our rules and procedures. Please read them carefully.
Please see Section 2 of the HOSR racing rules to be informed of major additions and changes to the steering and overtaking rules and guidelines. Boats are now free to pass other boats on either side, anywhere on the racing course provided that it is safe to do so at the moment in question.
The responsibilities of all boats to avoid undue interference, whether overtaking other boats or being overtaken are clearly spelled out, as are the penalties for infractions.
Coaches, please make sure that your coxswains and stroke-seat and bow-seat rowers fully understand their shared responsibilities under the new rules. In team boats that do not include a coxswain (2-, 2x, 4x) successful steering and incident avoidance are the responsibility of the bow-seat rower or sculler.
HOSR is introducing a new 27-39 age group in all Masters events, designed to accommodate the emerging number of masters rowers and scullers of ages 27-32.
HOSR has lowered the eligibility age for an individual to compete in a Masters event (except the single scull) to 21, consistent with USRowing's recently adjusted policy; but the average age of the rowers in all Masters boats must still comply with the age range of the category for which those boats have registered.
With very few exceptions as judged by the Regatta Organizing Committee, there will continue to be no age handicaps in any of HOSR's Masters groupings (27-39, 40-49 and 50-59). However, all Veterans events (60+) will be handicapped.
The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta is hosted in partnership with the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, and with the help of valued sponsors and exhibitors, whom we welcome along with all competitors, coaches, friends, families and spectators. Our goal is to provide the best possible regatta experience for all participants. The 2012 Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta will be rowed over a course of approximately 2.5 miles on the Schuylkill River in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA. The 2012 regatta will take place Saturday and Sunday, October 27 and 28.
2.1. The racing course, separated from the east bank (Kelly Drive) side of the Schuylkill River by a single, continuous line of buoys from start to finish, will be rowed DOWNRIVER (SOUTHWARDS) IN THE CENTER. The start will be at the 2000-meter mark below the Twin Bridges and the finish will be about 300 meters below Girard Bridge.
2.2. The racing course will pass through a designated arch at each bridge. These arches will be prominently marked on each side by large buoys. Failure to pass through any designated arch will incur a significant time penalty. Periodic large buoys will also mark the outer limits of the WEST side of the racing course. Rowing outside of these buoys will also incur a time penalty. Additionally, marker buoys will be placed ahead of Peters' Island and any other fixed obstacles that may be present on or close to the west side of the course, to warn boats to steer inside of them.
2.3. The above racing course descriptions will apply to ALL races EXCEPT the following: The Saturday Community races will start at the 2000 meter mark and finish at the Three Angels. The “Viking Venture” for rough-water singles on Sunday will start at the 2000 meter mark; will make a starboard turn immediately after passing under Columbia Bridge; will take one loop around Peters’ Island; and will finish at the Three Angels.
2.4. Launching Sites. The major launching site for out-of-town boats arriving by trailer will be on the east bank of the Schuylkill River at the Three Angels Statues, below Columbia Avenue Railroad Bridge. The site is accessed southbound on Kelly Drive. Throughout both days of racing, Regatta Headquarters, vending, food concessions. Regatta Information, hospitality and award ceremonies will all be located in this area, although awards not claimed on site can also be collected from University Barge Club, #7 Boathouse Row, during a two-hour period beginning 90 minutes after the conclusion of the last race, each day.
You may also park in the area of the East Park Canoe House and launch from the repositioned public dock below the Gillin Boat House, but due to the closure and fencing-off of the river wall and the East Park Canoe House itself, we strongly recommend against your use of this site. HOSR regatta competitor and spectator services at this site will be limited to careful management of access and available parking, and the provision of some temporary toilet facilities. There will be no marshals at the dock to assist with launching or retrieval of boats, and the HOSR will take no additional responsibility for the area.
2.5. The row up to the start for ALL BOATS is upstream along the EAST (Kelly Drive) bank, keeping to the EAST of the single, continuous buoy line all the way. DO NOT STRAY ONTO THE RACE COURSE or you will be automatically disqualified.
2.6. The row back for Boathouse Row starters is straight back to the boathouses from the finish. The row back for the Three Angels Statues and Canoe Club starters is upstream along the EAST BANK.
2.7. With the exception of adaptive boats launching from the tugboat house on Martin Luther King Drive just below Columbia Bridge, NO BOATS whatsoever will row upstream on the WEST SIDE of the river, on pain of automatic disqualification. Race referees in launches will monitor and escort adaptive boats on their way to the start line and returning to their launching site.
2.8. In the interest of SAFETY on the water, the above traffic patterns will be in force for ALL boats, whether rowed, sculled or paddled, and including launches, from 12:00 NOON on Friday, October 25 through the end of racing on Sunday, October 27. CAREFULLY REVIEW THE COURSE MAP on this website. The map also will be available at registration and in our program book.
2.9. Steering the course and avoiding interference. In addition to racing from start to finish as fast as possible, an important part of head racing is the equal challenge of skillfully steering down the prescribed racing course with maximum advantage to your own boat. While doing so you are expected to make a positive effort to avoid undue interference with other boats that you are overtaking, or that are overtaking you. The Head of the Schuylkill racing course includes boundaries marked with buoys, natural or buoyed bends in the river, and choke points such as bridge arches. Errors of steering and/or undue interference (both defined below) render you boat liable to time penalties (also defined below).
2.10. Successful steering involves skill, planning, constant alertness, concern for safety, sportsmanship, and tactical adjustment to conditions on the river, as well as to situations caused by other boats as your boat moves down the course. While staying within the boundaries of the racing course, each boat is at liberty to decide the line that it considers will provide it with the best tactical advantage, provided that such a line does not interfere with the fair progress of other boats.
2.11. Guidance for non-coxed boats: If you are rowing in a single scull, or in the bow seat of a pair, double or quad, successful steering and incident avoidance involves constant awareness not only of what is happening behind your boat, but also what is developing up ahead. It is therefore just as important to take frequent looks over each shoulder to analyze what is happening ahead of you as it is to monitor what is happening alongside and astern of you, and to adjust your boat’s positioning and pace accordingly. In team boats, good communication and coordinated action between you and your partner or crewmates is key to steering a clean and optimal course.
2.12. Guidance for coxed boats: In all coxed boats, it is obviously the responsibility of the coxswain to determine what line to boat should take, to constantly analyze the situation that is developing up ahead as well as alongside the boat, and to make steering and tactical adjustments accordingly. In stern-coxed boats such as eights and some fours, the stroke-seat rower has the responsibility to inform the coxswain of a boat that is moving up behind into potential overtaking position (see Rule 2.14 below) or when, after successfully overtaking a boat, it is a safe option for the coxswain to cut in front of that boat. In bow-coxed boats such as many fours the bow-seat rower has the identical responsibilities.
2.13. Errors of steering and consequent penalties. There is no penalty to your boat if an oar blade or scull blade accidentally passes on the wrong side of a course-marking buoy, but your boat’s hull stays within the course. However, if your boat’s hull also passes on the wrong side of a course-marking buoy, the penalty is 10 seconds per infringement (e.g. three buoys = 30 seconds). If you steer through the wrong arch at any bridge, the penalty is 60 seconds.
2.14. Definition of Overtaking. A boat is deemed to be overtaking another boat when it has moved to within one boat length of open water of the boat being overtaken. An overtaking boat has the right of way to pass on the side of its choice, if a safe pass can be accomplished. A boat being overtaken must yield as soon as possible to the overtaking boat, with the aim of completing the yield by the time the overtaking boat has closed to within one half of a boat length.
2.15. Errors of undue interference and consequent penalties:
(a) It is the duty of the boat being overtaken to assess the line being steered by the overtaking boat and to move safely out of its way as soon as possible. Failure to yield in sufficient time, as judged by a course umpire, constitutes undue interference and incurs a penalty of 30 seconds to the boat being overtaken, unless at the point in question there is no clear and safe option to move out of the way within the bounds of the racing course, because of a fixed obstruction (such as a bridge abutment or course-marker buoy) and/or the placement of other boats immediately ahead of, or alongside of, the boat being overtaken.
(b) It is the duty of an overtaking boat to pass by one or more other boats without compromising the ability of all the boats being overtaken to stay within the marked bounds of the racing course. If overtaking happens at a bend in the course, it is normally but not necessarily assumed that the overtaking boat has the right to steer the inside line at the bend in question. However, at no point on the course is an overtaking boat allowed to resort to intimidating tactics to get by another boat that cannot safely move out of the way. If a course umpire observes such behavior, the overtaking boat will be assessed a 30-second penalty for undue interference.
2.16. Guidance for all overtaking boats: Seasoned and tactically prudent head-racing scullers and crews are the ones that remember that it is often more costly to press forward in a high-risk situation that results in interference than to slow down temporarily and wait for the right moment to execute a successful pass.
2.17. Unsportsmanlike conduct in overtaking situations. If undue interference by any boat is compounded by excessive rudeness or foul language, a course umpire witnessing such conduct may assesse the boat in question a minimum penalty of 60 seconds.
3.1 SATURDAY Schedule: All COLLEGE events; some OPEN heavyweight events; all OPEN lightweight events; the OPEN CLUB eights; and the MASTERS/VETERANS doubles and eights. There will also be a special section of COMMUNITY races, as well as full-course head races for ADAPTIVE DOUBLES and OPEN/MASTERS ROUGH-WATER SINGLES.
3.2 SUNDAY Schedule: All HIGH SCHOOL events including the HIGH SCHOOL TRAINER SINGLES; the "VIKING VENTURE" for rough-water singles; all remaining OPEN events; and all remaining MASTERS/VETERANS events including the Mens and Womens VETERANS FOURS. The Masters and Veterans divisions have age categories of 27-39, 40-49 and 50-59 (no handicap) and 60+ (with handicap) in the relevant events.
3.3. Changes to the Schedule: The HOSR Regatta Organizing Committee (ROC) seeks to provide a schedule that offers all rowers and scullers a range of opportunities to participate in the regatta. However, the ROC reserves the right to restructure certain portions of the Regatta’s published schedule in advance of the running of said events if, for example, it concludes that an event, or one or more of its sub categories, has not received an adequate number of entries.
4.1. To enhance spectator enjoyment and competitor challenge, we intend to start the boats in each race TWO AT A TIME in bow number order, at approximate 10-second intervals.
4.2. Unless otherwise officially informed by the chief referee or regatta control, all boats should assume that the regatta is running on time and in accordance with the pre-published schedule of events. Ignore all rumors to the contrary!
4.3. All boats, from whatever launching site, must launch in time to report to the marshals above the start line, and to be marshaled by them, no later than 10 minutes before the scheduled start time for their event. We recommend launching no later than 40 minutes from start time if you launch from Boathouse Row, 30 minutes if launching from Angels and 20 minutes from the Canoe Club.
4.4.To help achieve a well organized start for each event, all boats leaving the Angels Docks for their race shall launch in bow number order. So if you are standing in line at the dock to launch with a higher bow number than a boat behind you, please let it pass.
4.5.Starting immediately above Strawberry Mansion Bridge and up to a point below Twin Bridges, you are in the final marshaling area. Marshals may temporarily hold boats with higher bow numbers to let boats with lower bow numbers go up-river. Please work with the marshals, acting promptly as and when requested. Our goal is that by the time boats for each race turn and enter the down-river starting chute they will be – as much as possible - in correct racing order.
4.6.Once an event has started (e.g. Event 04A-B, Men's/Women's Open Fours w/cox) boats from previous events (e.g. Event 03A-D, Men's/Women's Open Heavy and Light Singles) or any other boats that are late to the start line will be permitted to start, but will have to wait at the top of the river until called down to the starting chute by the marshals or referees.
In addition to adherence by all boats to the on-water traffic pattern (see Rule 2.7) we have two requirements to enhance race day safety. First, if any boat capsizes or loses one or more of its occupants, said affected occupant(s) will be given a medical examination and the affected boat will not race in that race. Second, all high school boats, and all freshman and/or novice boats must be under the supervision of a responsible adult who will sign a form at registration warranting that the athletes concerned have appropriate boat-handling and racing skills for participating in a major regatta.
6.1.Every boat racing in our regatta must display the correct bow marker assigned to it at on-site registration for the race in question. The marker must be fixed to the bow so that the entire marker is clearly visible on both sides. The bow-most occupant of every boat, and all stern-seated coxswains, must also display the exact matching back marker, pre-affixed to the layer of apparel in which they intend to race.
6.2.All boats with a sharply pointed bow must also be equipped with a fixed protective bow ball. Essentially this means all “racing shells.” Most rough-water and training singles with gently rounded bows will not be required to be so equipped.
6.3. If a boat is fitted with shoes, it must have, in working order, a device on each shoe that facilitates the quick release of the athlete's foot in an emergency.
6.4. A boat in which the body of the coxswain is enclosed or partially enclosed within the hull of the boat shall conform to the following requirements: The opening through which the coxswain enters and exits shall be at least 2.30 feet (70 cm.) long when measured along the longitudinal axis of the boat. For a length of at least 1.64 feet (50 cm.), the opening shall be as wide as the inner hull of the boat itself. The inner surface within which the coxswain's body rests shall be smooth and free of any obstacles, devices, or other structures that would hinder quick exit.
7.1. Class 1 boats are 19 ft. 0 in. maximum length, 40 lbs. Minimum weight. Example: Alden Ocean Shell.
7.2. Class 2 boats are 22 ft. 0 in. maximum length, 38 lbs. Minimum weights. Examples: Maas Aero, Martin Trainer, Alden Star.
7.3. Class 3 boats are 25 ft. 2 in. maximum length, 38 lbs. Minimum weight. Examples: Maas 24, Vespoli Comp.
7.4. A one-person shell that is longer than 25 ft. 2 in. or that weighs less than 38 lbs. will be considered to be a conventional racing single.
7.5. Length is measured bow to stern, along the deck, excluding the bow ball, if fitted. Weight is measured on a dry, fully rigged boat, excluding oars, electronics, safety and personal gear.
We accept all entries on a first-come, first-served basis but reserve the right to impose a “cap” on heavily subscribed events or portions thereof (see Rule 10.2 below).
8.1. Our entry deadline is at 12:00 midnight, Monday October 8, 2012. Events fill quickly, so please apply right away. After October 8, waitlist registrations may be accepted at double the registration fee based upon availability.
8.2. All entries must be submitted online via RegattaCentral.
8.3. Select the event(s) you wish to enter (see the ORDER OF EVENTS published on the HOSR web site, www.hosr.org.)
8.4. Racing in more than one event: To the extent possible, the HOSR order of events has been organized to enable all rowers and coxswains to compete in multiple events in the category or categories for which they are eligible. Please refer to Sections 13 (Eligibility and Line-up Rules) and 14 (Classification Rules) for important further details.
Doubles and Pairs: $80.00
Fours and Quads: $120.00
Fees must be paid in U.S. dollars. If you do not send proof of insurance coverage at the time of your entry via email (a copy of your certificate of insurance will do) the regatta will provide insurance coverage at a charge of $5.00 per seat.
10.1. The first five finishers in each of last year's events will be comparably seeded in the event IF each finisher submits a complete and accurate entry form on time. This provision applies to organizations and single rowers only, not to composite crews.
10.2. At the entry closing date, we will fill each event in the order described above. We reserve the right to limit the number of boats that we accept in any event to a number we feel we can safely and prudently handle on the course. In events with subcategories that are oversubscribed, we will determine the number of boats in each subcategory in proportion to the total entries received. We will return the entry fee of any entry we are unable to accept because of oversubscription.
11.1.Every competitor must have executed an official USRowing Release and Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement (the "Waiver") in order to row in our regatta. The waiver is available at www.regattacentral.com. (https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/waivers/usrowing.html)
11.2. At on-site registration, if not already submitted, the regatta committee must receive an executed Waiver Form for each participating competitor in every entered boat. We will not accept "blanket" waivers intended to cover one or multiple entries.
11.3. Please also note that all competitors who are minors (under 18) must have their Waiver executed by their parent and/or legal guardian. No exceptions.
12.1. We will refund the entry fee, less any refund charges, of any entry scratched in writing before the entry-closing deadline of 12 midnight on Monday October 8, 2012. We will not refund the entry fee for any entry withdrawn after this date.
12.2. After the Initial Entry Deadline (October 8, 2012), no boat will be allowed to switch its event or subcategory.
12.3. No substitution whatsoever is allowed for singles boats. After the Initial Entry Deadline no substitution exceeding fifty percent (50%) of the rowers is permitted for any other boats. The names of all substitute rowers, accompanied by Waiver Forms and the reasons for substitution must be submitted in writing to on-site registration (when open) or to regatta headquarters at the Three Angels launching site prior to racing.
12.4. Excepting coxswains, no person may compete for more than one organization, or as "unaffiliated" in the regatta. All boats that contain individuals from more than one organization will be designated as COMPOSITE crews. Composite crews are welcome in any category for which they are qualified and will be eligible to win medals; but their performance will not be counted in the tabulation of points trophies.
12.5. Entrants who do not show up on race day may be prohibited from participating in our regatta the following year.
13.1. High-School Eligibility. To protect their future collegiate athletic eligibility, rowers and coxswains representing a high school or equivalent entity (as defined in Section 14.1 below) may only participate in high school events. High school events are closed to all other athletes.
13.2. General Eligibility. All non-high school athletes are eligible for any event for which they are otherwise qualified. In particular, COLLEGE athletes are eligible to row in OPEN events.
13.3. Masters, Veterans and Singles entries must identify the boat captain (rower or coxswain) when registering on RegattaCentral. No substitutions may be made in Masters or Veterans events after the Initial Entry Deadline of October 8, 2012. No substitutions may be made in Singles events at any time.
13.4. Except for Masters, Veterans and Singles events, the line-up of individual crewmembers can be altered on RegattaCentral within the bounds of Rule 12.3 above, but the line-up must be finalized at on-site registration. All athletes must complete their waivers on www.regattacentral.com. (https://www.regattacentral.com/regatta/waivers/usrowing.html)
14.1. High School Athlete Definition. A high school rower, sculler or coxswain is one who in the current calendar year is and has been enrolled in secondary school as a full-time student seeking a diploma.
14.2. High School Age Classification. In several high school races, the Head of the Schuylkill now offers two age classifications, Under 17 and Under 19. The Under 17 classification is for high school athletes who through December 31 of the current calendar year will not have attained the age of 17. The Under 19 classification is for athletes who through December 31 of the current calendar year will not have attained the age of 19. Notwithstanding these age classifications, it is possible for athletes who fit the Under 17 classification to compete in Under 19 races if they and/or their coaches so elect. However, it is not possible for an athlete who is over 17 to compete in an Under 17 race, even if the average age of the boat in question computes to Under 17.
14.3. High School Coxswains. While coxswains competing in Head of the Schuylkill high school events must comply with Rule 14.1 above, the age of such coxswains shall not be included in the computation of the age of their crew.
14.4. College Freshman/Novice. A college freshman rower is one who is enrolled full time in his/her first year of undergraduate study at a college or university. A college novice rower is one who is enrolled full time in undergraduate study at a college or university and who, on regatta day, has not been rowing competitively for more than 12 months.
14.5. Club. The club category is limited to persons (including coxswains) who in any sculling or sweep-oared event (master and veteran events excepted) meet the following criteria. Did not finish high enough to earn a medal in the preceding year's Head of the Schuylkill Regatta. During the current calendar year did not compete beyond the quarter finals of the Henley Royal Regatta. Did not finish among the top six places in the San Diego Crew Classic, Dad Vail, EARC or EAWRC Sprints, Pacific Coast Rowing Championships, NCAA Championships, IRA, or Canadian Henley. Did not finish among the top six places in any major international regatta such as Lucerne-Rotsee, any national, international or world championships or any national team selection trials.
14.6. Masters and Veterans. Age as of December 31, 2012, rounded down to the highest contained integer, governs, as applicable, both the age-group category and the time adjustment of a given boat in our Veterans events. Except in the Masters Singles events (minimum age 27) all Masters competitors must be at least 21 years old and Veterans Singles scullers (events 17D and 18D) must be at least 60. In crews, however, the average age of the rowers will determine the boat’s maximum age-group classification and, for Veterans, its time adjustment in relation to other crews. A Masters or Veterans single sculler or crew may compete in a lower (younger) age category. No Masters single sculler or crew may compete in a higher (older) age category.
14.7. Time Adjustment (or "Handicap"). With very limited exceptions, only Veterans events are time-adjusted in the HOSR. A table showing the time adjustments for any given age is available on our website (click here).
14.8. Definition of Lightweight. A men's lightweight boat, including a single scull, shall contain no rower who weighs more than 160 lb. A women's lightweight boat, including a single scull, shall contain no rower who weighs more than 130 lb.
14.9. Lightweight Weigh-In Locations and Times.Lightweight rowers may weigh in the evening before, or the morning of, their first race. Weigh-in is located at on-site registration, at the places and hours set forth in Rule 15.2 below. For lightweight rowers entered in more than one event, it is not necessary to weigh in more than once per day of racing. Rowers shall be weighed in racing uniform (minimally shorts and a T-shirt or a unitard) without shoes or other footgear.
14.10. Coxswains. The Head of the Schuylkill Regatta does not require coxswains to weigh in
15.1. You must register on site at the regatta and obtain the correct bow marker(s) for your boat(s) no later than two hours before the published start time of your event(s).
15.2. Scullers and crew representatives may pick-up registration packets at the following hours and locations: HOURS: Friday, October 25, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. at LLOYD HALL (corner of Kelly and Waterworks Drives) or Saturday, October 26, 6:00 - 9:30 a.m. at Lloyd Hall or Saturday, October 26, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at UNIVERSITY BARGE CLUB (#7 Boathouse Row) or Sunday, October 27, 6:00 – 9:30 a.m. at University Barge Club.
15.3. Traffic and Parking. For your safety and protection, all participants must observe the traffic and parking regulations instituted by the Philadelphia Police and the regatta organizing committee on the day before, and the day of, the regatta, including at on-site registration and weigh in. Please do not park in locations marked as NO PARKING.
The HOSR will make every prudent effort to hold all advertised races as closely as possible to the published schedule, provided that prevailing conditions, even if challenging, still allow for safety and fairness for all involved. However, we regret that in the event the regatta has to be cancelled, whether in whole or in part, there will be NO REFUNDS and no credits toward future HOSR Regattas.
17.1. For gold, silver and bronze medals to be awarded, a minimum of three entries is required for each event or subcategory. The regatta committee may combine or cancel events of sub categories of events at its sole discretion.
17.2. As soon as possible after each event we will post its provisional results at the Angels launching site. The results of each event will become official for the purpose of the award of medals (see Rule 17.3. below) as soon as all reported related infractions and disputes have been investigated and resolved.
17.3. There will be scheduled awards ceremonies throughout the two days of racing. Awards not claimed on site can also be collected from University Barge Club, #7 Boathouse Row, during a two-hour period beginning 90 minutes after the conclusion of the last race, each day of racing.
Awards ceremonies will be held as follows:
1:00 PM – Festival Tent at The Three Angels Statue
3:30 PM – University Barge Club, #7 Boathouse Row
1:00 PM – Festival Tent at The Three Angels Statue
4:00 PM – University Barge Club, #7 Boathouse Row
(Open continuously until last event results are ratified.)
17.4. The HOSR offers four points trophy competitions, for the High School, College, Open and Masters divisions and sub categories of the regatta. Within each competition, there are trophies for the highest-scoring organization overall, as well as in the men's and women's events.
17.5. The points trophy scoring formula is three points per winning boat, two points per second-place boat, and one point per third-place boat. In the event of a dead heat for first, second or third place in any race, the available point(s) will be divided equally between the tying boats.
17.6. The performance of composite boats (those that contain members of more than one organization) will not be included in the computation of the points trophies; nor will the performance of "unaffiliated" single scullers.
17.7. Following the regatta, all results will be rechecked for accuracy before being declared final. Final results will be posted on RegattaCentral, accessible through a link on the HOSR web site.