Race Course & Rules

Head of the Oklahoma Race Course Map [Download]

The starting positions for the head race events will be seeded to ensure safe and fair racing.  Race seeders will consult the results from 2017.  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.  No events will be delayed for late arriving crews.  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 the Control Commission tent at the Chesapeake Boathouse prior to launching.  The crew will be given direction as to which dock to use for launching and will check for a properly affixed bow ball and heel ties on each shoe. 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 the dock in front of the Chesapeake 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 water.  Any changes to the launch times will be announced. Events will not be held for late crews. Please ensure your crews are prompt on the dock and observe a 90 second dock time.

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 that cross the course.

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

The starter will arrange the crews so that crews cross the starting line at approximately 15 second intervals. Please have your crews line-up in the order of your bow numbers prior to the start of each race. 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 go through the railroad trestle bridge located just west of the Chesapeake Boathouse. At the Shields Avenue Bridge, make sure that there is no one about to pass you. If there is a boat that is overtaking you, your crew needs to take 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 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 that missed the correct order of the start will be penalized 10 seconds.
  • Yielding A crew that fails to yield to a crew having proper right of way shall be penalized 30 seconds. A crew that fails to yield to a crew being properly summoned to the starting area, or interferes with the staging of the start may be penalized 10 seconds by the Marshal or Starter.
  • Bow Number A crew that crosses the starting line without its required bow number shall be penalized 60 seconds.
  • Unsportsmanlike Conduct A crew that is heard to be using foul language will be given one warning.  If heard again, they will be disqualified.

The regatta will consider a protest from a coach per USRowing rules. A fee of $50 is charged for each protest. The protest must be filed with the Registration Desk on the second floor of the Devon Boathouse.  The protest must be filed and the fee must be paid within 90 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, USRowing, and the LOC will work together to monitor the weather continuously during the event.

Should it be determined that schedule changes are necessary due to weather concerns, the following weather plan will be utilized:

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

  • Announced over the on-site sound system
  • 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 second floor of the Devon Boathouse.

Schedule Changes will be made with the following priorities

  • 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 regatta.