Independence Day Regatta

June 29, June 30 & July 1, 2018

Regatta Bulletin for Competitors

  • Friday, Saturday and Sunday, June 30, July 1 & 2, 2017
  • Schuylkill River, Philadelphia, PA
  • Schuylkill Navy of Philadelphia
  • This is a USRowing registered regatta. The Regatta will be conducted in accordance with USRowing Rules of Rowing.
  • Please keep in mind that Philadelphia in late June/early July can be HOT & HUMID! We recommend all competitors bring a reusable water bottle. There are two water fountains available along the course (one near the EPCH launch dock & the other near the grandstands). We will also have large water dispensers at the Regatta HQ tent, located near the return dock and St Joe’s Boathouse.
  • Questions – Contact Clete Graham


All pre-registraton is done at Regatta Central.  Details at Competitors | Registration. There is no on-site registration at the regatta, but you are welcome to check in with us at the regatta HQ tent by St. Joe’s Boathouse.

Race Course

  • All dash races will be 1/4 mile, starting at the top of the island.
  • The adaptive singles and doubles, novice singles and all masters races will be 1000 meters.
  • All other events will be 2000 meters.
  • There will be stake boats at the 2000 meter starting line only.
  • All crews must pass under their lane number on Strawberry Mansion Bridge. Violators may be excluded (disqualified).

Race Schedule

  • Races will be held in the order listed. There will be no exceptions to this.
  • Racing will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday and 8:00 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday unless large numbers of heats necessitate an earlier start time.
  • Races will not be delayed for crews that are late to the line for any reason. Crews should be in their lanes and, for 2000 meter races, locked onto the stake boat two minutes before the start of their race.
  • The safest and fairest way to run 250 races in July heat is to keep the regatta on schedule. We will be ruthless in starting races on time and will not hold races for any reason.
  • All events (except masters) with more than 18 boats will go thru time trials on Friday, with top 18 advancing to conventional semi-finals.


USRowing junior definitions apply:

  • U19 – A competitor may compete in the U19 category until December 31 of the year of his or her 18th birthday
  • U17 – A competitor may compete in the U17 category until December 31 of the year of his or her 16th birthday


USRowing master definitions apply: A master is a competitor who has attained or will attain the age of 21 in the calendar year. AA = 21-26, A = 27-35; B = 36-42; C = 43-49; D = 50-54; E = 55-59; F = 60-64; G = 65-69; H = 70 and over. Average age of the crew determines eligibility. The age category of a masters crew shall be determined by the average age of the crew, rounded down to the highest contained integer. Time handicaps will be applied in any masters event that combines two or more categories. A competitor’s age is determined as of December 31 of the calendar year. Masters crews are reminded of the rule requiring them to report any line-up changes in writing no less than 2 hours prior to the start of the race. This allows the regatta committee time to recompute the age handicap and announce it to the other competitors prior to the start of the race. Violators risk disqualification!

Adaptive Singles

The adaptive singles events are open only to adaptive rowers with a disability who meet the criteria set out in the FISA rowing classification regulations. The Independence Day Regatta fixed-seat adaptive singles races are intended for TA (trunks & arms) and AS (arms and shoulders) rowers.


A novice is a rower who has never rowed in a rowing race prior to January 1 of the calendar year. Specifically excluded from the “novice” category are rowers who have raced before as sweep rowers but are racing for the first time as scullers.


“Intermediate” and “senior” are “classifications by skill” defined by Rules 4-103 and 4-104 of the USRowing Rules of Racing. Basically, if you have to ask, you’re probably an intermediate. Everyone is an intermediate until they win a national championship or at Canadian Henley.

Octuple Sculls

The octuples scull event is an open event. Crews can be all male, all female, or mixed, with any mixture of males and females. In order to encourage more participation, handicaps will be assigned by the regatta director, at his sole discretion, to all masters crews. You must notify the regatta director if you change your line-up, with names and dates of birth.

Junior Octuple Sculls

The junior octuples scull event is also an open event. Crews can be all male, all female, or mixed, with any mixture of males and females.

Master’s Mixed Double

The Betty Shepherdson Memorial Award will be presented to the winner of the master’s mixed double. The names of each year’s winners will be permanently inscribed on a bronze plaque to be displayed at Malta Boat Club. Special individual awards will be presented to the winning contestants. USRowing masters age handicaps will be used in determining the event winner.


Lightweight men shall weigh no more than 160 lbs. Lightweight women shall weigh no more than 130 lbs. Averaging is not required. Weigh-ins will be held from 10:00 to 2:00 pm Friday, 11:00 to 2:00 pm Saturday and 6:30 to noon Sunday at the Canoe Club. No weigh-ins required for light dash races on Saturday morning, but they are required for finals on Sunday. Competitors must weigh in each day they compete (except dash heats). Only one weigh-in per day is required. Coxswains do not weigh in. All members of a crew must weigh-in together.  Photo ID’s are required.

Per the recommendations of the USRowing Sports Medicine Committee, athletes must be within two pounds of the required weight on the first try, or they will not be allowed to weigh-in again. If they are within two pounds they are allowed to return up to two additional times.


  • More then 18 entries:  Time trials: 19 – 30 entries: top 12 advance to 2 semi-finals.  Move than 30 entries: top 18 advance to 3 semi-finals.
  • 13 to 18 entries:  3 heats – top 2 advance to final
  • 8 to 12 entries:  2 heats – top 3 advance to final
  • 7 entries: 2 heats – top 2 advance to final, plus the next two fastest times
  • For heats where not all competitors show up, advancement will remain as listed. For 2 heats with 3 to advance, for example, and only 3 boats appear at the starting line, all 3 will advance, subject to maintaining racing pressure and cadence in accordance with the Rules of Rowing

Mariner Point Trophy 

Sponsored by Mariner Insurance Group, the trophy will be presented to the club earning the most points in the regatta. All events will count towards the points total. Composite boats do not count. Here’s how points are calculated, per the USRowing Rules of Rowing:

Type of Event Points
1x 10
2x, 2- 15
4+, 4x 20
8+, 8x 30


Number of Boats in Event Percentage of 1st Place Points
2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th
2 20%
3 40% 20%
4 60% 30% 5%
5 80% 40% 10% 5%
6 or more 80% 40% 20% 10% 5%

We’ll have a running tally at the regatta HQ tent at the St. Joe’s Boathouse on Saturday and Sunday. Composite crews are not eligible for points. Please let us know if your crew is a composite.

Scratch fees

If fewer than three entries are received or if all the entries are from the same club, the event will be scratched and the clubs will be notified.

Composite crews

No competitor may represent two different clubs in the regatta. Boats composed of members from various clubs should register as composite crews.

Bow numbers & bow balls

No shell may launch without a bow ball and no shell may race without its appropriate lane number affixed to its bow. It’s the only way we can tell who you are as you cross the finish line. Any crew reporting to the starting line without a bow number may be assessed a warning (“false start”). A second warning will result in exclusion from the race.  Except for time trials, each crew must supply its own bow numbers. Bow numbers will not be provided; however, bow numbers will be available for sale at the Regatta Headquarters tent at the St. Joe’s Boathouse, $20 for a set of 6. The regatta will provide bow numbers for time trials.


ll crews must wear matching shirts. “Matching” means identical in style, color, and detail, including any insignia. No crew will be permitted to race in violation of this rule.

Bow-coxed boats

Bow-coxed boats must adhere to USRowing rules governing the size of the opening, i.e., minimum 2.3 foot long longitudinally, minimum 1.64 foot length as wide as inner hull, inner surface smooth and free of obstacles.


The Local Organizing Committee, working in conjunction with the chief referee, is charged with approving the use of any and all drones at the regatta venue both on shore and in the field of play, including the airspace above the course (in accordance with local and FAA drone regulations for the specific venue), and approving the use of any/all media launches on the field of play.

Anyone wishing to operate a drone at the regatta venue, including media, competing organizations (including athletes, coaches, support personnel, parents, or fans), or spectators, must have prior approval from the LOC.

Any drones operating in the field of play must be controlled from a media launch with an experienced drone operator and launch driver. The drone itself must remain at least 10 meters behind the crew in its lane and at least five meters above the highest point of the referee launch. In addition, all media launches, with or without drones, must keep an appropriate distance behind any crews in contention, so as to not wake any crews with the opportunity to advance.

Countdown to Independence Day Regatta