Head of the Trent Regatta

September 30, 2017

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 September 30th, 2017. The registration period for the regatta will run from Wednesday August 23rd through to Friday September 15th at noon.


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


Course Map



Notes for Competitors

Please remember that rowers are not permitted to race in back-to-back divisions (Rule 1a). Dock marshals will be watching for this and disqualify boats that are in violation. Violation of the rule will result in disqualification of the crew from the second event.

Athletes are reminded that while race officials will be in the canal, all safety marshals on the course have the power to ensure safety and monitor adherence to the rules of racing. Marshals 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, 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 15th 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 15th.

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 15th 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 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 15th at noon. Confirmation of crews that have been accepted for each event will be posted on the Head of Trent website September 18th. 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 22nd, 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, universities or high schools 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.


a) Fee Schedule

Club Eights $100.00
Coxed Fours $80.00
Doubles $70.00
Singles $60.00
Alumni Eights $100.00
Scratch Fee $75.00

Entries from OUA universities are subject to a single administrative fee of $500.00 which covers one entry in each university event.

  1. Entry fees will be required from all university crews entering club events and all non-OUA member university crews entering university or club events.
  2. Entry fees are payable by credit card online. Single entries must be paid during the registration request process.
  3. In the event that we are unable to accommodate an entry, the full registration amount will be refunded to the credit card.

b) Regatta Packages and Bow Numbers

  1. Clubs and universities must pay the invoice before the day of the regatta in order to receive their regatta package.
  2. Bow numbers will not be issued until all applicable entry fees have been paid.
  3. 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.

c) Scratch Fees

  1. Any club, university or individual that scratches an event after entry confirmation on September 18th will be charged a flat scratch fee of $75.00 per entry.
  2. Boats which are not scratched until the day of the Regatta, or do not show up for their race, will be charged both the entry fee for that event plus the $75 scratch fee.


a) Masters

All entrants for the Masters events must be thirty (30) years of age or over at some time during 2017. Grand Masters entrants must be 50 years of age or over during 2017. 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 2017 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) Junior Events

  1. All athletes competing in the junior events must be under 19 during 2017 and enrolled in high school.
  2. Junior athletes may compete representing their school, or compete as a composite high school crew under their mutual club affiliation.

d) Club Events

  1. Competitors in club (i.e. competitive) events race the full course.
  2. Athletes must be registered as Competitive members with Rowing Canada or an equivalent governing body, such as USRA.

e) University and Alumni Events

  1. Only those registered as full time students in a recognized Canadian University or College are eligible to participate in University or University JV events.
  2. University events in Division 6 will race from "The Wall," a modified shorter course approximately 3km in length.
  3. The Alumni race has a group start from "The Wall." Athletes racing in the alumni event cannot compete in another university event during the regatta.


  1. All divisions will start at, or close, to their scheduled times. Canal closure to prevent late crews from proceeding up the course will therefore be strictly enforced.
  2. Crews MUST race in their division to be eligible for an award.
  3. All single events will race in Division 1.
  4. All races in Division 6 will start from "The Wall."


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
  • Brock University
  • Argonaut RC

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. All vehicles with boats on the car top must park on the AC (West) side of the river.


a) Bow Numbers

  1. 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.
  2. Crews will be provided with a bow number; a regulation Bow Number holder will be required on the bow of all boats.
  3. Bow numbers and “pin on” numbers must be visible for the duration of the race.
  4. Failure to have a visible “pin on” number on the back of the rower in Bow will result in a 10 second time penalty.

b) Launch & Warmup

  1. Boats are asked to stage themselves towards the north in the launch area (in the direction of the university library) pointing their bow north towards the Library.
  2. While in the “Launch holding area” any boats that cross into the active race course and impede a racing crew will be given a 20 second time penalty.
  3. Once all racers have passed and the canal is opened for the next division all boats will proceed first north towards the Library before turning into the course and proceeding in a straight line into the canal towards the Start.
  4. Crews crossing the RED dotted buoy line that extends from the West side of the canal up in line with the northern end of the PRC dock, thereby “cutting the corner into the canal”, will incur a 10 second time penalty.
  5. All crew members should be rowing when passing through the canal.
  6. Proceeding to the start, crews will be required to move through the canal narrows and down the course at a reasonable pace.
  7. Crews that fail to keep moving at a reasonable pace towards the Start may be assessed a race time penalty by officials on the course at the official’s discretion.
  8. 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 time penalty against their race time.

c) Rowing to the Start

  1. All crews will row with all rowers as quickly through this area as possible. There is no stopping in the canal to adjust foot stops, clothing, oars etc. If officials, see this occurring your crew will be assessed a 10 second time penalty. It is critical to move all boats through this point as efficiently as possible to keep the race on schedule and give all competitors the chance to race.

d) During the Race

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Once through “The Canal” narrows there are buoy lines on both sides of the course to separate racing crews from returning and launching crews, leaving the race area in this section will result in a 5 Second time penalty for each bouy the boat passes on the wrong side of.

e) Canal Rules

  1. The narrow connection between the Otonabee River and the Trent Canal, located beside and south of the Peterborough Rowing Club, is referred to as “THE CANAL”. As the area is extremely narrow, for reasons of safety, the follow rules WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
  2. The Entrance of “The Canal” will be marked with 2 large buoys on either side of the course which are proceeded by 2 lines of smaller buoys along the shore to act as a warning zone leading into “The Canal”. The warning zone is a visual aid to coxed and uncoxed boats that they are approaching “the Canal” and should be aware of any direction that the “Canal Entrance Official” may give them.
  3. The “Canal Entrance Official” will be clearly visible in a stationary position on the East side of the river, as close to the Bouy line as possible.
  4. Any direction the “Canal Entrance Official” gives to a crew must be acted upon by the time they reach the first bridge.
  5. No passing is allowed in the canal between the marker buoys at the entrance to the canal (immediately south of the bridge) and the red marker on the east bank at the extreme end of the canal.
  6. In the event a boat becomes disabled or crashes into the shoreline within "The Canal" an RCA Official in proper uniform using a white flag can verbally give authorization to a crew to pass the disabled boat in order to avoid backlog or potential accidents. If a crew passes another crew (disabled or not) within "The Canal" without the direction of an RCA Official using a Flag they will be disqualified from the race.
  7. All crews are to proceed through the canal in the order in which they are directed by the race official located at the canal entrance red buoys.
  8. This order as determined by the “Canal Entrance Official” will be either the lead crew OR the crew clearly about to overtake the lead crew. The “Canal Entrance Official” is the sole determinant of the order crews proceed through the canal.
  9. Crews who fail to heed the directions of the “Canal Entrance Official” are subject to automatic disqualification regardless of circumstance.
  10. The canal will be watched by regatta officials/RCA Umpires and may be videotaped.
  11. While in the canal boats seen to be impeding the progress of other crews through poor steering, intentionally slowing down, or following too closely, including moving the bow of a boat in a position that impedes the blades of the crew ahead, will be subject to a time penalty or disqualification at the discretion of the officials.
  12. These rules will be enforced by race officials and CANNOT BE WAIVED at the discretion of competitors.
  13. Any crew that is disqualified and completes the course does NOT receive a time for their race.

g) Returning to the Dock

  1. After crossing the finish line and hearing the horn crews must continue to row up the river away from the finish line before turning to starboard and entering the return lane.
  2. The return lane is along the east side of the river and is separated from the active race course by a line of orange buoys.
  3. Crossing back into the active race course without the direction of a marshal may result in a time penalty.
  4. Crews returning to the AC side will row along the east side of the river until they are directed by a race marshal to cross over at a safe interval between racers. When crossing the course please turn and row straight across to reduce the time you are on the course.
  5. Crews returning to the PRC side will continue to stay close to the east bank and be mindful of crews racing out of the canal in the opposite direction.


There will be a meeting for coaches and coxswains at 8:00am in the upstairs of the PRC Boathouse 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.


Registration will run from August 23rd at noon through to September 15th 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 events.



2016 Results


Parks Canada