Head of the Trent Regatta

October 1, 2016

Peterborough, ON


Head of the Trent is an annual regatta held on the historic Trent Severn waterway in Peterborough, Ontario. Participants race along the scenic Trent Canal and Otonabee River in a 5km head style race. The regatta draws competitors primarily from Ontario, Quebec, and the northern United States, with international clubs also participating on occasion. It is regarded as one of the premier events for fall rowing in the region, and competition for entries has grown increasingly more vigorous in recent years. Over 2,000 athletes in over 400 boats race throughout the day making the regatta one of the largest single-day regattas in North America. The regatta coincides with Trent University’s homecoming celebrations, and provides a unique atmosphere of spectators, festivities and activities. Crews are often cheered along by revelers at the finish line and some of the more narrow portions of the course. This year's regatta will be held on Saturday October 1th, 2016. The registration period for the regatta will run from Wednesday August 24th through to Friday September 16rd at noon.


2016 Draw

The canal will open following passage of the last boat of each previous division through it. It will close twenty minutes after that point in time. Boats are encouraged to get on the water prior to the canal opening to enable quick movement through the canal as soon as it opens. Crews who do not proceed through the canal within the prescribed time period will be disqualified from their event.

Race Starts

Division 1

8:45 am

Division 2

10:40 am

Division 3

12:25 pm

Division 4

2:05 pm

Division 5

3:40 pm

Division 6

5:15 pm




Notes for Competitors

Please remember that rowers are not permitted to race in back-to-back divisions (Rule 1a). Dock marshalls will be watching for this and disqualify boats that are in violation.

Athletes are reminded that while race officials will be in the canal, all safety marshalls on the course have the power to ensure safety and monitor adherence to the rules of racing. Marshalls may bring penalties or disqualifications as appropriate so athletes are reminded to treat all safety boats, race officials, and fellow competitors with courtesy and respect.


a) Athletes

No oarsperson, whether university, club, high school, recreational or independent may compete in successive divisions. This rule does not apply to coxswains.

b) Universities

All universities will be guaranteed entry with their administration fee of one boat per event for all university events (with the exception of the new event described below). Second entries may be acquired only as numbers permit for the university novice eights, university heavy fours and university heavy double events. Any university that is not a member of the OUA will be able to register for university events according to the fee schedule assessed to clubs. Entries for non-OUA universities are guaranteed in the same manner as for OUA universities. Entries must be received by Friday, September 16th at noon. After this date entries will be accommodated as space allows on a first-come, first-served basis — there is no guarantee of entry acceptance after September 16th.

The Club Coxed Four Men and the Club Coxed Four Women events are restricted to club entries only. No university crews, whether representing a university or a club, are permitted to enter these two events. Universities are welcome to enter the other club events following the procedure detailed for club entries. J.V. events are restricted to one crew per university and to a maximum of 10 crews for each event.

c) Clubs

All Boats which finish within 5% of the previous year's winning time will be guaranteed an entry into that event, as well as the winner of the over 60 sub-category of the Grand Master Singles. Guaranteed entries are not given in recreational events (see 4.b). The entries will be granted to the individual in single events and to the club, school or university in all other club events. Entries are only guaranteed provided they are received by Friday September 16th at noon. Individuals and crews that qualify for this entry guarantee are shown on the regatta's guaranteed entry list as posted on the website.

All non-guaranteed entries for club and high school crew events (i.e. 2X, 4+, 8) must be prioritized by the registering club during the registration process.

Eg. If a club wishes to enter 20 events and has 3 guaranteed entries from the previous year's performance, when submitting entries the remaining 17 entries must be ranked, by priority, 1-17. Entry to specific events will be a factor of both the priority given and the demand for entry into that particular event and division. Where several equal priority ranked entries result in an excessive number of entries in a specific event, a random draw will be used.

For club single events, entries will be requested on an individual basis. Individuals may enter themselves or clubs may enter on the rower's behalf. Clubs DO NOT include singles entries in their crew prioritization. Individuals are encouraged to identify their club affiliation, but may enter as "independent." Individuals who qualify for a guaranteed entry must register within the registration period to receive this guarantee. Individuals who are not guaranteed an entry will be selected by random draw.

d) Deadlines

Entries must be received by Friday, September 16th at noon. Confirmation of crews that have been accepted for each event will be posted on the Head of Trent website September 19th. Following this, should there be any Club or University events with available entry space, entries will be accepted on a first come first served basis until Friday, September 27th, at which point all entries will close.

e) Restrictions

For crew events, entries may only be made by clubs, universities or high schools recognized by the Head of the Trent. New clubs or universities interested in attending the regatta must express interest to the regatta committee to be added to the registration list. To request addition to the list please contact Andrew Joyce.


A signed Release, Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement form with original witnessed signatures must be provided for every participant in the regatta. Minors (age 17 and under) must use the Parental Consent Release, Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk, and Indemnity Agreement form, requiring the signature of a parent or legal guardian. Any participant without a signed Release and Waiver form presented to the Head of Trent will not be permitted to race.


Club Eights $80.00
Coxed Fours $70.00
Doubles $60.00
Singles $45.00
Alumni Eights $80.00
Scratch Fee $75.00

Entries from OUA universities are subject to a single administrative fee of $250.00 which covers one entry in each university event.

Entry fees will be required from all university crews entering club events and all non-OUA member university crews entering university or club events.

Entry fees are payable by credit card online. Single entries must be paid during the registration request process. In the event that we are unable to accomodate an entry, the full registration amount will be refunded to the credit card. Clubs and universities must pay the invoice before the day of the regatta in order to receive their regatta package. Any club, university or individual that scratches an event after entry confirmation on September 19th will be charged a flat scratch fee of $75.00 per entry. Boats which are not scratched until the day of the Regatta will be charged both the entry fee for that event plus the $75 scratch fee.

Bow numbers will not be issued until all applicable entry fees have been paid.


a) Masters

All entrants for the Masters events must be thirty (30) years of age or over at some time during 2016. Grand Masters entrants must be 50 years of age or over during 2016. No age category handicap system will be observed in the Masters events. The fastest Grand Masters (men and women) who are 60 years of age or older will also receive winning medals. Entrants wishing to compete for this award must declare they are age 60 or over in 2016 where specified on the entry form.

b) Recreational

Recreational boats are defined as having a mix of male and female members, or to be of particularly young or mature age, or to consider themselves "recreational" by nature. This means competitive masters or university crews cannot enter this category. First place awards will only be given to crews considered by the judges to be recreational. In keeping with the spirit of recreational rowing, no crews will be guaranteed entry the following year. All recreational events will be run on the short Head of the Trent course, starting from the area referred to as “The Wall.” Recreational crews will be directed to and marshaled from this area.

c) High School

All athletes competing in the high school events must be currently enrolled in high school. High school athletes may compete representing their school or compete as a composite high school crew for their club.


All divisions will start at or close to the times noted. Canal closure preventing late crews from proceeding up the course will therefore be strictly enforced. Crews MUST race in their division to be eligible for an award. Crews will be provided with a bow number; a plastic "slot" will be required to secure the number to the boat.


The following clubs/universities are to use the Peterborough Rowing Club boathouse parking and docking facilities:

  • Ottawa/Ottawa University
  • Peterborough/Trent University
  • Ottawa Valley R.C.
  • Kingston RC/Queen's University

All others are to use the west bank of the river next to the University Athletic Complex. Boat trailers will be directed where to park in this area by Head of Trent staff. Cars with single sculls may park in any of the three locations.


Race instructions and bow numbers are to be picked up at the Regatta Headquarters located in the University Athletic Complex. Bow numbers will only be provided upon payment of appropriate fees.

Proceeding to the start, crews will be required to move through the canal narrows and down the course at a reasonable pace. Crews that fail to do so may be penalized race time by officials on the course.

Once through the canal narrows, boats proceeding to the start cannot turn around at any time until they have rowed past the start line. Boats failing to obey this rule will automatically be assessed a 20 second penalty against their race time.

During the race, normal head race rules will apply (with exception of the Canal Narrows area). Crews being overtaken are required to give way to passing boats. This may require altering course or line, provided this can be done in a safe manner while remaining on the race course. In situations where the crew being overtaken cannot alter course in a safe manner to accommodate the overtaking crew, the overtaking crew must adjust its course to allow safe passage of both boats.

Of particular note during the race, no passing is allowed in the Canal Narrows between the marker buoys. At the entry buoy, a regatta official will dictate the order of crews based both upon their position and relative speeds. The canal narrows will be monitored by regatta officials. Boats passing within this restricted area will automatically be disqualified. This rule CANNOT be waived at the discretion of competitors. Boats seen to be impeding the progress of other crews through poor steering or following too closely will be subject to penalty or disqualification at the discretion of the judges.


There will be a meeting for coaches and coxswains at 8:15am at the Trent University Athletic Complex on race day. Important information and last minute instructions will be announced at that time. A representative from each club/university must plan to attend.

After returning to the dock, all boats are required to return their bow number to the dockmaster before leaving the dock. Individuals or crews not returning their bow number will be charged $10.00 per number. This fee must be paid prior to receiving entry numbers for the subsequent year.


Crews may not cross the short line of buoys extending from the west side of the canal. Boats are asked to stage themselves towards the north in the launch area (in the direction of the university library) and proceed in a straight line into the canal when it opens for the division. Crews crossing the buoy line, thereby cutting the corner into the canal, will incur a 10 second time penalty. All crew members should be rowing when passing through the canal.


Any athlete, club or university that scratches an event after entry confirmation on September 19th will be charged a flat scratch fee of $75 per entry. Boats which are not scratched until the day of the Regatta will be charged both the entry fee for that event plus the $75 scratch fee.


Registration will run from August 24th at noon through to September 16th at noon.

Online registration.

All athletes must complete a release form and submit this prior to competing in the regatta. The forms must be submitted to the regatta registration desk located in the Trent Athletics Building. Forms can be obtained online and brought to the registration desk at the regatta. Alternatively, they may be picked up at the registration desk the day of the regatta and returned before you row.

Athletes applying for entry into single events will be required to complete an online release and will not need to submit the paper based disclaimer. The online release must be completed before single entry applications will be accepted.

Guaranteed entries are awarded to individuals or crews which placed within 5% of the winning time in the previous year. Guaranteed entries are given only for club and high school events.



2015 Results