Skip to main content
HomeHead of the Mississippi

Featured Image URL //
38th Head of the Mississippi Regatta - Oct. 7, 2017

Regatta Information & Schedule

Minneapolis Rowing Club is pleased to welcome you to the 38th Annual Head of the Mississippi Regatta October 7, 2017.

Course Map | 2017 Entry Packet

New This Year

We are very excited to announce a new partnership with METERS FOR MELANOMA. Meters for Melanoma (started by a rower) raises awareness and funds for Midwest Melanoma Partnership’s work to support research into finding a cure.

Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers there is, in fact someone dies every hour from the disease. Sun-baked, on-water rowers are especially at risk for the cutaneous forms of melanoma. At this year’s Head of the Mississippi, Meters for Melanoma will be on-hand to provide information and offer free melanoma screening for all rowers.

Clubs and individuals are also encouraged to support Meters for Melanoma with your own tax-free donations
(see merchandise tab on Regatta Central). 


The only way to register for the HOTM is through Regatta Central. Registration is currently open, entries close Thursday, September 28th.


Staging Area

Trailer and shells can be parked at River Flats Park – see directions – next to the University of Minnesota’s Boat House.  
Security will be provided beginning at 7:00 PM on Friday.  There is no parking of trailers at Minneapolis Rowing Club.


Race Course

The race is rowed upstream and has several bridges, channel markers and other obstacles to be aware of.  
It is a beautiful course beginning at Minneapolis Rowing Club and ending approximately 3 miles upstream.  
Please refer to the local rules for further information.

Coaches & Coxwains Meeting

A representative from each club/University racing needs to attend.  At the River Flats Park (U’s boathouse)– 7:30 AM.



Races begin at 8:45 AM.  Watch your time and allow at least 30 minutes to row to the starting area from River Flats Park.
Please be aware of your time.  Boats late to the line will not be allowed to race unless directed to do so by the officials.  

If you wish to add a boat or change ages in a boat please do so at least one hour prior to scheduled race time.  
If you wish to scratch a boat please do so ASAP.

An Event List is included in this packet. Please see Regatta Central for any updates.


Bow Numbers

Are provided in your packet.



“Masters”: Rowers who have attained or will attain the age of 27 during the calendar year. 
A competitor’s age is determined as of December 31 or the current calendar year. 


 “Juniors”: High school or community rowing programs where the oldest rower will not have attained the age of 19 by the
end of the calendar year in which the race occurs.


“Novice/Freshman”: Any rower who began rowing May 2016 or later and/or is in their first year of rowing at the collegiate level.


“Open/Collegiate”: Any rower or crew representing a college or university, either as a club or varsity sport, and any non-collegiate
rower or crew not otherwise classified or affiliated. NOTE: No Junior may cox or row in a boat entered in any collegiate events.


Handicaps for Master's Events

Handicaps are based on the standard USRA rules.  If you fail to provide ages for each rower on Regatta Central registration
they will be assigned the age of 27 and averaged at that.


Any protest can be made in writing at the registration area within 60 minutes of race finish.  A $25 protest fee must
accompany a written protest note.  The $25 will be returned if protest is upheld.



Will be given for first place finishers that have at least 2 entries.


Event Day Parking

There is pay box parking at the River Flats Park.  Once full there are several pay lots in the area and street parking
above the River Flats Park (look for stairs to come back down).  All meters are enforced so pay attention.

NO PARKING will be allowed on the park grounds – except the trailer.


See Regatta Central


Course, Warm-up & Landing

See Local Racing Rules


Other Concerns

The Head of the Mississippi is the same weekend as the Twin Cities Marathon – so please plan your travel accordingly. 

Head of the Mississippi - Local Racing Rules


Launching & Warm Up


We will call boats to the water one hour prior to racing; but it is up to you to allow yourself enough time and to have bow
numbers and boats ready at the start. Plan on taking at least 30 minutes to row to the warm up area.

Launch and head down the East side of the river. Stay to the Port Shore and watch for oncoming racers.  Keep all RED
Channel Markers to your Starboard side - EXCEPT between the Railroad Bridge and Lake Street Bridge!! Very important
to then move out and keep RED channel markers just to the Port Side and GREEN Channel markers just prior to Lake
Street Bridge (2) to your Starboard side.

Continue through Lake Street Bridge and watch for boats coming across from Minneapolis Rowing Club.

Starting area is the Lake Street Bridge at Minneapolis Rowing Club.

After passing the Start you may row down to last Marshal and then circle clockwise in warm up area. Please pay attention
to other boats and start moving to Starting Marshal as called or by time or with other boats in your event in order.

From MRC

Follow the launch chute past Lake Street Bridge then cross to warm up area. Pay attention to boats coming up landing
chute and do not impede boats coming up to staging area to start race. Pay attention and move slowly to warm up area.
Do Not Cross Course – crossing course may lead to disqualification.


Traffic Pattern Racing

The race is run up the West side of the river (opposite of normal traffic pattern).

There are three bridges and 12 permanent channel navigational buoys on the course, as indicated on the course map.
Any incidental hazards, such as snags or shallow areas, will be marked or have a safety launch and driver posted at them. 

Bridges & Channel Markers

You must go through shore span of the RR Bridge, Franklin (only one span) & 94 BUT must go through the far shore
(West side) of the Washington Bridge – last bridge before finish.

You must stay to the West side of the course and keep all RED Channel markers to your Starboard Side and first GREEN
channel marker (before RR Bridge) to your STARBOARD side.  The last GREEN channel marker before Washington Bridge
(last bridge) must be on your PORT side and you must stay in the marked course past and all the way to Washington Bridge.  

There will be a 10 second penalty for each red buoy you cross with the hull of your boat through the last turn before
Washington Bridge.

Pay attention Crews warming up from the River Flats will be on the opposite side of the river.  

Returning After Racing


Continue through FINISH. Do not stop right after finish! Continue to next red buoy and then begin turn to the East side
and row carefully back to dock. Listen for directions from Finish Marshal and Dock Master.


Follow directions above for "launching from River Flats" all the way though Lake Street Bridge.  Then circle and come to
landing chute - pay attention to not impede racers starting and boats launching.  If you are hot seating make plans to hot
seat from River Flats Dock to assure you make the race.  
Do Not Cross Course – crossing course may lead to disqualification.


Hot Seating 

If your boat requires 'hot seating' please let the dock master know and have those going into boat ready or the boat will
have to be pulled off the dock. Talk to the other crews and let them know you are hot seating for priority docking.


Racing Rules

See Traffic pattern.

Boats racing have the right away over all other boats. Any non-racing boat that interferes with a race will be subject to a
30 second penalty or exclusion.

An overtaking boat is considered to be overtaking when it moves to within a boat length of the boats it is approaching.
When passing another boat, the overtaking boat has the right of way, but is obliged to make it apparent to the boat ahead
on which side is wishes to pass. The boat being overtaken must yield room to the overtaking boat, usually on the outside.
However, no overtaking boat should press its right of way to the point of collision. Racing boats, by judgment of the
officials, cannot interfere with other racers without a penalty or exclusion.


Note: the Regatta Chair and Head Official reserves the rights to rule on any situations not specifically covered in these
rules and assess penalties as appropriate.


2821 West River Pkwy
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Copyright © 2016 - All Rights Reserved
   |    Terms of Use   |    Privacy
Powered By 
Website designed by MRC Member
Shelly Burr | Voila! Media Group