Head of the River 2019 – Competition Information and Reminders

Hi All,

Please find below a few competition specific reminders for Saturday and some really important information regarding the management of the 9 Lane Schoolgirl 1st 8+ race.


School Senior Races

This year will once again feature a 9 lane School 8+ Race.

The Lanes have been drawn 1-9 with Loreto in Lane 1 and Norwood in Lane 9. This is because the regatta software does not allow for the allocation of a Lane 0. However, the set-up of the West Lakes course for a 9 lane race requires the use of Lane 0 (usually the travelling lane). As such, for the SG 8+ race each crew will be required to move 1 lane towards the Military Road side of the course but keep the same Bow Number.

This will mean –

Lane 0 – Loreto (N1)

Lane 1 – Pembroke (N2)

Lane 2 – St Peters Girls (N3)

Lane 3 – Seymour College (N4)

Lane 4 – Scotch College (N5)

Lane 5 – Walford Anglican (N6)

Lane 6 – Wilderness School (N7)

Lane 7 – Unley High (N8)

Lane 8 – Norwood Morialta (allocated a numeric only ‘9’ Bow Number)

Due to the safety risks posed by a 9 lane race the following measures will be required –

  • All crews competing in the SB 2nd 8+ race at 12:05 will need to have cleared the finish line and returned to the Oarsman or Northern Reserve beaches prior to the start on the SG 1st 8+ race.
  • Crews transiting to the start of the SB 1st 8+ race must either be behind the start pontoon or pulled in at the 1500m Beach (Towpath Reserve) until the full field of SG 1st 8+s has safely passed. Please brief your coxswains and consider this in your warm-up plans. The SG 1st 8+ race will not be started until all SB 1st 8+ crews are accounted for by the Boat Race Officials behind the Start Pontoon or at Towpath Reserve.
  • Boats will not be permitted to leave Oarsman Reserve to travel back to the boatsheds at Dotterel Drive after 12:00pm, and must wait for the conclusion of the racing.

Crew Changes

To make things easier for everyone involved I would strongly suggest lodging crew changes prior to Saturday.

Online crew changes are open until 8:00am tomorrow morning (Friday).

I will also be able to take changes via email until 2:00pm tomorrow afternoon. After this time crew changes will need to be made on the Yellow Form at Regatta Control on the day.

Obviously, these changes will not be reflected in the Official Programme.

Weigh-in Procedures

Please be reminded that coxswains who officially weigh in prior to their race are only required to have their weights re-weighed.

If your coxswain does not weigh in prior to the race they may be required to weigh in after the race where it will be their responsibility to ensure they comply with the weight limits of their race category.


If any of your crews will be wearing a different uniform to your schools registered racing uniform, please send us a quick email with the description of the uniform. We will then pass this information on to our Boat Race Officials for the day so they know they may not be looking for the standard colours.

Please note- if your crew wishes to wear an alternate uniform in any race outside of Head of the River (including Nationals) formal approval will need to be sought from the RSA Board.

Transiting and Start Line Arrival

Recently I have had a few questions regarding transiting around the regatta course.

Please note the following:

  • Crews are not to stop on the Finish Line when a race is approaching (this interferes with the operation of the finish line camera)
  • Crews travelling down Lane 9 (on the far side of the course) near the finish line that are not involved in the race, must not stop on or cross the finish line while a race is in the finishing area.
  • Crews are not to undertake pace work in front of the Northern Beach, Finish Pontoon, Oarsman Reserve Beach (this is a significant safety issue due to high traffic from boats launching and landing)
  • Crews are not to undertake pace work in any area where crews are being marshalled (once again this is a safety issue in high traffic zones where boats are being directed on to the course)
  • Crews are not to undertake pace work in either direction while a race is passing.
  • Crews are not to stop on any Start Line where a race is being aligned and the Aligners flag is raised (the Aligner is the Boat Race Official stationed on the footpath adjacent to the Course responsible for ensuring the boats are in line and monitoring false starts – as such they require a clear view of all starting boats)
  • Crews should ensure they are at the start line a minimum of 5 minutes prior to their scheduled start time.
  • Crews must wait in the appropriate marshalling area until they are invited to enter the course by a Boat Race Official.

Regatta Referee

The Regatta Referee for the 2019 Head of the River will be John Asenstorfer.

If you wish to speak to the referee please go to Regatta Control and ask to see the Referee. However, please be reminded that issues required to be referred to the Event Directorate must go through the appropriate channels.

Please also be advised that there will be a zero tolerance approach to any harassment or abuse of any Boat Race Official or Regatta Volunteer.

Please contact the office if you require further information on any of the above.

Good luck to all crews, coaches and coordinators for Saturday!

Kind regards,


Bec Lannan

Rowing South Australia Inc