Rio Comp Crew Readies for Head of the American By: Jennifer Blatt

October 20, 2013


Rio's competitive crew has been hard at work this fall, preparing for its road-trip-regatta of the fall, the Head of the American in Sacramento, on Saturday, October 26. This is the first time Rio has attended this particular regatta, although a crew of women attended the Gold Rush Regatta in 2012, which is held on the same water, Lake Natoma (the American River)


As at the Okie O'Connor Hot Head, Rio will once again be sporting an array of boats and crews, once again displaying their versatility for such a small contingent. Rio will post entries in ten events, several with two entries:


Men's Master 4x

Women's Masters 2x - two entries

Women's Masters 4+ - two entries

Men's open 1x

Women's Open 4x

Men's Masters 2x - two entries

Women's Masters 1x

Mixed Masters 2x

Women's Masters 8+

Mixed Masters 4x


Head races are usually between 4 km and 10 km, and are a race against the clock. Boats leave the start in 10-15 second intervals, and race the course. The crew with the fastest time in its age category is delcared the winner of that category. Among the most well-known head races are the 4.25-mile, Head of the River Race that takes place each March on the river Thames in London, and the 3.20-mile, Head of the Charles race held each October on the Charles River in Boston. 


"Head" races are named thus because they are often held on rivers. (This may be contrary to the popular belief of some rowers, who think it's because they spend a great deal of time in their heads during a race of such length!) 


The Head of the American is on a portion of the river that has been dammed up for recreational use, and turned into a state park: Lake Natoma, in Nimbus State Park. The course itself is a fairly straight one, with the warm-up to the start line paralleling the entire length of the course. In essence, the start and finish lines are at opposite ends of the lake - and five thousand meters apart! 


Best of luck to everyone, and GO RIO!



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