Oklahoma Regatta Festival

Athlete & Coach Information

OCU Head of the Oklahoma

The OCU Head of the Oklahoma includes 2.5 mile head racing during the day and 500m OGE NightSprints Saturday evening on  the only permanently lighted race course in the world. Events include collegiate, masters, and junior rowing as well as kayak and dragon boat racing.

OGE NightSprints

The Oklahoma Regatta Festival OGE NightSprints illuminate the Oklahoma River so teams can compete at night under stadium lighting, creating a memorable experience for the racers and spectators alike! Join us in 2021 for these exciting 500 and 250 meter sprints featuring the corporate rowing and dragon boat league participants.

OG&E Logo
Registration, OCU Head of the Oklahoma 

All regatta registration will take place on Regatta Central


Wednesday, August 18, 2021: entries open 

Sunday, September 19, 2021: entries close at midnight (CDT) 

Friday, September 24,2021: deadline for line-ups at midnight (CDT) 

Friday, September 24, 2021: deadline for late entries requests at midnight (CDT) 

Packets will include heat sheets with corresponding bow numbers and race bibs, course maps, and additional event instructions and information. 

OGE NightSprints deadlines and registration are noted further down the page.


Head Race 1x$35.00
Head Race 2x/-$55.00
Head Race 4x/+$70.00
Head Race 8+$95.00
Night Sprints 1x$10.00
Night Sprints 2x/-$15.00
Night Sprints 4x/4+$20.00
Night Sprints 8+$30.00


Entry fees will be refunded for scratches registered on or before Sunday, September 19, 2021 Scratches after this date will forfeit their entry fees. A $10 scratch fee will apply for scratches after this date and for no-shows on race day. 

Notice: Late entries can be requested and, if accepted, are subject to an additional $50 fee per entry. 


The Head of the Oklahoma is a USRowing registered regatta and requires a signed USRowing Release of Liability for each athlete. Furthermore, all participating organizations/ schools/clubs must be members of USRowing; single scullers do not have to be individual members. Visit USRowing for membership information and to sign waivers. Coaches are not permitted to submit a waiver on a rower’s behalf. 

Regatta Staging 

Buses can drop off teams at the Compass Rose located to the north of the University of Central Oklahoma Boathouse on RIVERSPORT Dr. Pending space availability, buses can park onsite in the bus parking area for $10. 

Due to limited trailer space, each trailer will have a designated parking space.  To reserve a parking space for your trailer, please contact Gena Terrill at gterrill@okcbf.org with the following information: 

  • Name and cell phone number of trailer driver 
  • Estimated day and time of arrival 

On arrival, please follow directions from parking attendants. 


Directions to the Boathouse District can be found here

Please keep all boats and oars in the designated staging areas and clear of marked pathways and docks.  Most staging will occur around the Devon Boathouse and Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. 

Boats being used from a hot seating crew will launch from the east end of the Recovery dock in front of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower.  Boats being used for hot seating crews will be allowed to temporarily stage in front of Chesapeake in the grass directly across from control commission.   

Clubs and universities are permitted to erect tents in designated areas along the race course, surrounding the Devon Boathouse and the University of Central Oklahoma Boathouse inlet.  Please see the registration officials for information on the permitted tent locations. 

Team tents cannot be set up until Saturday morning. 


All event timing and official results will be posted on Herenow.com 


Medals will be distributed for the Head of the Oklahoma throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday as results become official. Medals can be picked up on the first floor of the Devon Boathouse.  Special awards will be awarded during a ceremony prior to the start of the OG&E NightSprints.  Trophies include: 

  • Norick Cup – First-place finisher of the Men’s Collegiate Eight Head Race 
  • Ackerman Cup – First-place finisher of the Women’s Collegiate Eight Head Race 
  • Schnittman Cup – First-place finisher of the Men’s Collegiate Four Head Race 
  • Tempe Knopp Cup – Junior Team Points Trophy 

Please visit our Partner Hotels page for a complete list of our hotel partners and the contact information to receive special regatta rates. 


While at the HOTO venue, rowers and coaches are advised to wear a face mask at all times, except when eating, drinking, sleeping, training, or competing. Please refrain from physical interaction between teams or close proximity to other team’s athletes. Two-meters distance (six-and-a-half feet) should be kept from all athletes, coaches, officials, Riversport Staff and volunteers. 

Race Course & Rules 

Head of the Oklahoma Race Course Map [Download

To ensure safe and fair racing, starting positions for the head race events will be seeded based on the 2019 race results.  All other starting positions will be assigned according to a random draw.  OGE NightSprints Seeding

Race bibs and bow numbers will be in your entry packet that should be picked up at registration.  All waivers must be turned in to receive the packet. All boats must have the bow number displayed during the race and the race bibs should be worn on the back of all bow seat rowers. Please place the bow numbers in the marked receptacle located at the recovery dock at the conclusion of your race. 

Notice: There will be a $10 charge for each bow number not returned. 

Hot seating will be permitted only from the Recovery Dock.  The Control Commission must be informed in advance of a hot seating situation by informing the Lead dock master at the Recovery dock.  No events will be delayed for crews arriving late to the Start due to hot-seating.  Late arriving crews may race the course for time if deemed safe by the starting official; however, they will not be eligible for a medal. 

All crews are expected to check in at one of the three Control Commission launch sites designated to your team located at the Chesapeake Boathouse, Devon Boathouse or University of Central Oklahoma boathouse prior to launching.   The crews will be visually checked for a properly affixed bow ball and heel ties on each shoe.  Pre-inspections will be available Friday late afternoon, evening.  Pre-inspected tagged boats will be random spot checked on race days. Control Commission representatives will be located near boat launching areas. 

LAUNCHING (switches for NightSprints) 
All participants are expected to launch a minimum of 40 minutes in advance of the Head Race event in which they are entered. Crews will launch from their pre designated launch site dock in front of the Chesapeake Boathouse, Devon boathouse or UCO boathouse.  Crews will be responsible for launching on time and allowing for time to get to the starting line in time for their event. There will not be any calls to the water.  Any changes to launch times will be announced by text and PA.   Event starts will not be held for late crews. Please ensure your crews are prompt on the dock and observe a 90 second dock time.  Crews not observing the 90 second rule will be asked to remove their boat to allow other boats to launch. 

TRAFFIC PATTERN (switches for NightSprints) 
Please see  course map for specific traffic-related information. All head racing will be conducted in a counter-clockwise traffic pattern with racing occurring from West to East.  All 500m racing will be conducted in a clockwise traffic pattern with racing occurring from East to West. Please use caution when passing through the bridges during the head race portion of racing and night sprint recovery. 

RECOVERY/DOCKING (switches for NightSprints) 
Crews will recover at the dock at the base of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower and walk up the chute. 

Crews will cross the start line at approximately 15 second intervals.  All crews should line-up in bow number order prior to the start of each race as directed by the Start Marshal. To consolidate space in the starting area and expedite the start process, crews will set up in two lines with the even numbers on the north and odd on the south. 

A crew is deemed to be overtaking another crew when it has moved within one length of open water of the crew ahead. On those portions of the course that are straight, a crew being overtaken shall move to the right to allow the overtaking crew to pass. Where the course turns, a crew being overtaken shall move to the outside turn and allow the overtaking crew to pass along the shorter path. Nevertheless, in cases where the overtaking crew’s position clearly prevents safe passage or where there is insufficient room to yield, passing is not allowed, nor is the crew being overtaken required to yield. 

Use caution near all the bridges and be extra careful as you navigate the railroad trestle bridge located just west of the Chesapeake Boathouse. At the Shields Avenue Bridge, check to make sure that another boat is not about to pass you. If there is a boat that is overtaking you, your crew must use the right-hand (south) bridge opening. 


  • Buoys. Yellow buoys mark the boundaries of the course, dividing the race lanes from the warm-up/traffic lanes. Red buoys alert of approaching hazards. A crew shall be penalized 10 seconds for each yellow buoy the crew passed incorrectly. A crew passes a buoy incorrectly when any part of its hull passes on the wrong side of the buoy. 
  • Start A crew not starting in bow number order will be penalized 10 seconds. 
  • Yielding A crew that fails to yield to a crew having the proper right of way will be penalized 30 seconds. A crew that fails to yield to a crew being properly summoned to the starting area, or that interferes with the staging at the Start may be penalized 10 seconds by the Start Marshal or Starter. 
  • Bow Number A crew that crosses the starting line without its designated bow number shall be penalized 60 seconds.  Bow numbers are provided and are  your crew’s responsibility to maintain.   
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct A crew that is heard to be using foul language will be given one warning.  If heard again, they will be excluded from that event which the warnings  occurred.  

Protests will be considered pursuant to the USRowing Rules of Rowing.  Any crew who wishes to raise an objection to the conduct of the race must do so while still on the water at the finish of their race by reporting to the finish marshal.  Once an objection has been lodged a written protest may be filed at the registration desk on the 1st floor of the Finish Line Tower.  A fee of $50 is charged for each protest. The protest must be submitted, along with the $50 fee, by a member of the affected crew within 60 minutes of the last boat finish time for the race in question.  The fee will be returned if the protest is upheld. 

The Chief Referee and the LOC will work together to monitor the weather continuously during the event.  Depending on the severity of incoming or predicted weather, schedule changes will be prioritized as follows: 

  • Delay racing later the same day, if time is available. 
  • Begin racing earlier than previously announced. Announcement will be made no later than 3 hours before racing or 9:00 p.m. the evening before in the case of morning racing. 
  • Combine events within the same boat class, but across age categories. 
  • Cancel small boat events ( singles, doubles & pairs) 
  • Cancel regatta. 

All weather-related schedule changes will be announced utilizing the following media. 

  • Announced over the on-site PA system 
  • Text message 
  • Posted on Twitter, Facebook, RegattaCentral, and the event website

Teams are responsible for staying updated on announced schedule changes. 

Please direct any questions about schedule changes to the Registration Desk on the 1st floor of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. 

Race Categories 

Varsity and club collegiate rowing programs.  See special notice regarding NCAA Rule below 

All USRowing registered rowing clubs, individuals, and teams (no handicapping) except junior athletes and crews, and scholastic programs. All international crews who are not juniors should enter open events. 


Scholastic and club junior crews.  Juniors may only row or cox in events with a Youth designation. 

Open to rowers who do not weigh more than the following 

Men: 165 lbs 

Junior Men: 155 lbs 

Lightweight Women: 135 lbs 

Junior Women: 135 lbs 

Collegiate Freshman/Novice 
Open to rowers who have not competed in the past year as a collegiate athlete. 

Youth Novice 
Limited to youth rowers who began rowing after January 1, 2021. 

The Head of the Oklahoma will follow USRowing Rules of Rowing for Masters eligibility and handicapping guidelines. The Head of the Oklahoma will recognize all categories of masters racing.  Masters head race events will be handicapped. Night Sprints Masters 4x will be handicapped. 

Mixed Masters 
Boats must have 50% women rowers. 

Non-collegiate rowers, scullers and coxswains are not allowed to enter competitions representing a college or university. 


The Parent/Child NightSprints are direct registration with no corresponding head race event. To register, email the Regatta Director. In deference to NCAA regulations, collegiate rowers are excluded from participation in Parent/Child NightSprints. 


The Head of the Oklahoma encourages the participation of both college and high school athletes, and allows participation by both groups of athletes while not jeopardizing their ability to compete in future intercollegiate competition. The restrictions apply to high school students participating in both school AND club-based junior programs. 


Pre-Race Schedules 


  • Thursday: If a team arrives early and would like to practice on Thursday, please contact the regatta director. 
  • Friday: 12:00 pm to 4:30 pm 
    *Please note that all crews cannot launch after 4:00 pm and must be off the water by 4:30 pm. 

The Oklahoma River head race course will be used by OG&E Corporate Challenge NightSprints on Friday 4:30 pm to 10:30 pm, and will be closed for practice. 


Registration will be located on the 1st floor of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. 

  • Friday, October 1: 1:00 – 6:00pm 
  • Saturday, October 2: 7:00 am – 6:30 pm 
  • Sunday, October 3: 7:00 am –Until 1 hour after the completion of the final event. 


Lightweight athletes will weigh-in once for the weekend.  Weigh-ins will take place on the 2nd floor of the Devon Boathouse in the High Performance Fitness Center.  Only one crew in the weight in area at a time.  Masks must be worn at all times.  Disposable foot coverings will be provided and must be worn while weighing in.  Crew members will weigh in seat order, bow to stern. The entire crew must weigh-in together, no exceptionsCoxswains do not weigh-in. 

  • Saturday, October 2: 7:00 am – 9:00 am 
  • Sunday, October 3: 7:00 am – 8:00 am 


Friday, October 1, 2021: 4:30pm via Zoom. 

Oklahoma Regatta Festival Pasta Dinner

Friday, October 1, 6-8p in the McClendon Whitewater Center, Second Floor

Enjoy a pasta buffet that includes a vegetarian option plus salad. Purchase tickets in advance for $15 or at the door, $25.

Food & Vendors 

A variety of food trucks will be onsite. 

W water to refill water bottles will be available from a water monster located in the middle of the venue. Other refreshments will be available for purchase from on-site vendors. 

Oklahoma Regatta Festival apparel and other merchandise will be available on the first floor of the Devon Boathouse.  Quantities are limited, so purchase early. 

First aid will be available from Fire Medic Group stationed at the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower 1st floor. 

OGE Nightsprints 


All regatta registration will take place on Regatta Central. OGE NIghtSprints registration will take place later in August; date to be announced.

OGE NightSprints Map [Download


Deadlines will be posted in August 2021. 

Crews will need to complete additional entries for night races. The top 3 spots will be reserved for the top 3 finishers of 2019’s event. If a crew does not make registration, then the team can sign up on the wait list on Regatta Central. There is a limit of two entries per team per event. Head race results will determine lane assignments. In addition, in events with multiple finals, head race results will also determine if a crew is in the petite or grand finale. 

NIGHTSPRINT ENTRY FEES: 8+, $30.00; 4+/4x, $20.00; 2x, $15.00; 1x, $10.00 


Teams racing in the NightSprints events need to bring safety lights for all registered crews. Boats are prohibited from launching without the required lighting. 

Light Requirements:  Bow and Stern light.  Kraftlight Beacon or similar upright light is required at minimum but feel free to deck your boat out in as many additional lights as you would like.  You can rent a set of lights from Riversport for $10 a set.  First come first serve.   If not returned you will be charged the replacement amount for light set. 

LAUNCHING: OGE NightSprints 

All participants are expected to launch 20 minutes in advance of the NightSprints event in which they are entered. Crews will launch from the dock in front of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower. Crews will be responsible for launching on time and allowing for time to get to the starting line in time for their event. There will not be any calls to the water. Any changes to the launch times will be announced by text and PA.   Events will not be held for late crews. Please ensure your crews are prompt on the dock and observe a 90 second dock time. 

All NightSprint racing will be conducted in a clockwise direction with racing occurring from the 500 m start line in front of the Whitewater Pavilion and ending at the sprint finish line located in front of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower.  Crews are prohibited from warming up downstream (East) of the I-35 bridge.  Teams leaving the lighted course and passing I-35 will be excluded from that event. 


Crews will recover at the dock in front of the Chesapeake Boathouse. 

AWARDS: OGE NightSprints 

Gold Medals for the OGE NightSprints will be awarded immediately following each NightSprint event at the awards dock located near the Devon Boathouse inlet. Second and third place medals can be picked up at the awards table on the first floor of the Devon Boathouse. 

All crews are expected to check in at Control Commission at the base of the Chesapeake Finish Line Tower to ensure proper lighting.  You will not be allowed to launch until after the last crew in the prior event has launched.  Priority will be given to the event ahead or your event. 

START: OGE NightSprints 
Crews should be prepared to do a floating or rolling start and be able to maintain a point with a floating start.