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Whaleboat Racing Rules

Bay Area Whaleboat Rowing Association

Rules Committee:

Tay Vaughan, Chairman
Rick Hartman
James Haussener
John Holland
Brooks Imperial
Jim Leonard
Ben Pearson
Les Sutton

March, 1987

Parts of these Rules incorporate material from the Referee's Manual of the United States Rowing Association, Peter S. Kay, Editor




1.0 The purpose of this rule book is to provide competitors, coaches, and officials with a detailed description of courses and rules of racing. This will ensure that all involved, be they competitors and those that support them, or be they race organizers and officials, are working from a consistent set of guidelines. It is hoped that this text will become well-read and widely distributed so that the task of staging a "perfect" regatta may be simplified and may become a more common occurrence.

2.0 These rules are intended for for race organizers, officials, and competitors to provide detailed guidelines for proper conduct of races and regattas. Coaches, club officers, and competitors are encouraged to learn and review these rules regularly.

3.0 There are two major considerations in running a successful rowing regatta:

3.0.1 The safety of competitors, officials, and spectators. Nothing supersedes this consideration, and all other concerns are secondary to ensuring the safety of all persons.

3.0.2 Concern that all competitors row under equally fair condtions with an equally fair chance of winning.

4.0 If, in the Referee's best judgement, the conditions set forth in 3.0.1 and 3.0.2 above cannot be met, he or she is specifically authorized and required to postpone racing until satisfied that these conditions have been met.

5.0 A race or regatta is considered to have been satisfactorily completed when these considerations have been met. In the rules that follow, an attempt has been made to anticipate problem situations that may arise in a whaleboat rowing race. In any given situation, however, the above two considerations, coupled with common sense, should enable race officials and competitors to make correct decisions.


1.0 Many factors influence the safe running of a race.

1.0.1 Wind and seas may create difficult or unsafe rowing condtions which require carefull steering and which could lead to swamping of a vessel or vessels.

1.0.2 Current such as in rivers or bays can cause difficulty in steering and in aligning vessels at the starting line.

1.0.3 Courses with bends, bridges, or other obstructions pose particular problems for competitors: crews are required to steer carefully under the increased chance of collision with each other or the obstruction. In addition, there may be shallow spots or hidden obstructions below the surface of the water.

1.0.4 Violent storms, particularly thunderstorms, are a threat. Personnel should seek shelter on land at the first sign of lightning or thunder. Referees should assure themselves that competitors and other on-the-water personnel have been accounted for before they themselves leave the water.

1.0.5 Darkness is a safety hazard. The Referee must not allow races to be started after lighting conditions become unsafe (typically at least 1/2 hour before sundown), even if it means sacrificing the most important race of the day.

1.0.6 Debris in the water may be a hazard, particularly after rain storms and in the spring, when lakes and rivers tend to rise. Coxwains should beware. The Referee should check the course before racing.

1.0.7 Inexperienced competitors, in the excitement of their first racing experiences, may steer improperly. Lack of experience may lead to panic when dangerous situations arise.

1.0.8 Crowds may cause problems for competitors. Officials must be aware of the danger inherent when objects are thrown into the water from shore or from bridges.

1.0.9 If a competitor falls from a vessel, the vessel must stop and rescue that competitor immediately.

2.0 These are but a few of the many factors which may affect the safety of a race. Referees must check for these and other potential hazards, and must postpone or stop racing if, in their best judgement, conditions are unsafe. Ultimate responsibility for the safety of any vessel and crew, however, rests with that vessel's coxwain.



1.0 A minimum of seven officials shall preside at each regatta. At the starting line shall be the Starter, the Shooter, and the Flagger. At the finish line shall be the Finish Line Judge and a minimum of three Placers. The Chief Race Official is the Referee, who may also be the Starter.

1.0.1 Duties of Officials on the Course

1.0.1a Referee: The Referee is the Chief Race Official who is positioned on a launch or vessel so that he or she moves with the regatta competitors along the race course.

1.0.1b Starter: Oversees proper alignment of competitors at the starting line and officiates the start of the race.

1.0.1c Shooter: Provides appropriate starting signals to competitors, typically by audible sounds.

1.0.1d Flagger: Ensures that all competitors indicate their readiness to compete at the start of the regatta.

1.0.1e Finish Line Judge: Oversees proper recording of finish order. Advises the Referee regarding competitors' adherance to the racing rules at the finish line.

1.0.1f Placers: Assist the Finish Line Judge in recording the finish order of competitors and in performing his other duties.

1.0.1g Regatta Chairman: That person appointed by the Board of Directors to organize and operate the regatta competition and associated events. Chairman of the regatta organizing committee.


1.0 Other officials such as Timers and additional Placers may be appointed at the discretion of the regatta organizing committee or the Regatta Chairman.


1.0 The Jury is responsible for overseeing the running of the regatta, for certifying the results of that regatta, for reporting results to the Board of Directors as required, and for hearing/deciding on protests that occur during the regatta. It is, in fact, the regatta governing body insofar as rules of racing are concerned.

2.0 The Jury shall be composed of the Chief Race Official, the Starter, the Referee (if a separate official), the Finish Line Judge, and the Regatta Chairman.

3.0 The Jury may consist of more people at the discretion of the regatta organizing committee.

4.0 In all cases, the Jury shall consist of an odd number of members to avoid tie votes.

5.0 If a Jury member is party to a dispute (e.g., the Referee of the race is under protest), he/she must be excluded from the Jury when that protest is heard. In such cases, the Regatta Chairman may appoint another person to the Jury to maintain an odd number of members.



1.0 Crews shall consist of ten persons (8 rowers, 1 coxwain, 1 bowhook).

1.0.1 Men's teams shall consist of all men.

1.0.2 Women's teams shall consist of all women.

1.0.3 Coed teams shall consist of not less than 4 women rowers.

1.0.4 A men's or women's team may use a bowhook of the opposite sex.

1.0.5 A men's or women's team may use a coxwain of the opposite sex if approved in advance by the regatta organizing committee.

2.0 Distribution of Personnel

2.0.1 The coxwain shall remain abaft the aft rowing seat during the course of racing.

2.0.2 The bowhook shall remain ahead of the forward rowing seat during the course of racing.

3.0 Substitution of Crewmembers is permitted. Competitors may substitute up to one half the personnel in their vessel, as well as the coxwain, before the first heat is run. Substitutes shall be members of the same club/organization, but exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Regatta Chairman. Once a crew has raced in a preliminary heat, no change may be made of its personnel, except in case of serious injury or illness. Such injury or illness must be certified or witnessed by a member of the regatta organizing committee or a race official. If a subsititute is included for an injured or ill rower, the ailing individual cannot reenter subsequent heats of the same event if he or she is restored to good health.


1.0 The Referee's equipment includes both that which he/she carries on his or her own person, as well as that which is supplied by the race organizers for use on or off the water.

1.0.1 Personal Equipment: The Referee carries the following items:

1.0.1a U. S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation devices (PFD's) for all people in the Referee's launch, and at least one or two extras for rescuing competitors.

1.0.1c A loudhailer or megaphone.

1.0.1d A noisemaker to start and stop races. Typically a shotgun, starting cannon, air horn, siren, or bell.

1.0.1e Binoculars, to find crews that are not where they are expected to be and to examine the safety of the course.


1.0 Safety launches should always be designated.

2.0 First aid stations on shore are preferred as immediate backup to water safety launches. An ambulance or car should be stationed near the finish, start, or launch areas for rapid transportation to a hospital or urgent care center. Someone should have the keys and be with the vehicle at all times.

3.0 Warm shelter must be available at all times in cold weather. This may consist of a heated motor home parked in a readily accessible spot. Remember that two or three minutes pass quickly when an oarsman is pulled from cold water and must be rushed to shore.

4.0 Ship-to-shore communication is an invaluable investment to facilitate regatta operations and for swift response to emergency situations. At minimum, radio connections should be established between the starting line and dispatch area, with additional connections to the launching area, finish line, and Referee's launch.


1.0 Before racing begins, the Referee should assure him/herself that all preparations of the course are complete, and that the competitors are ready to race. He/she should be sure that:

1.0.1 A cosxwain's meeting has been held or that all competitors (or coaches) have been informed in advance of procedures pertinent to the day's racing.

1.0.2 All precautions have been taken to insure as clear a course as possible.

1.0.3 All equipment meets BAWRA specifications as described in Section IV-A.

1.0.4 All officials are at their appropriate stations, and that all course equipment is functioning properly.

1.0.5 Appropriate equipment and safety items/personnel are on hand.

1.0.6 A Jury has been chosen to hear protests, to rule on matters not specifically covered in these rules, and to certify all results as official. Selection of the Jury is described in Section II-C.


1.0 Three starting procedures are available to the regatta organizing committee: the Steerageway Start, the Easy Start, and the Timed Start. The method of starting the regatta shall be made clear in literature announcing the event and at the preliminary coxwains' meeting.

1.0.1 When conditions warrant, at the discretion of the Starter the method of start may be changed at the starting line. If the starting method is altered after crews and vessels have assembled for the start, coxwains shall be verbally notified of the change by the Starter. Before then starting the race, the Starter shall be assured that all crews understand the change by requesting appropriate signals from the coxwains or bowhooks. Coxwains shall be familiar with all starting procedures and shall be prepared to undertake any of these starts upon short notice at the starting line.

2.0 Crews are due at the starting line, in position to race, at least two minutes before the scheduled start of the race. Crews arriving late may be excluded from racing. Crews that fail repeatedly to comply with Starter's instructions in the starting area will be disqualified.

3.0 The Starter shall make every effort to find out why a crew is late or missing at the starting line, and takes into consideration such problems as broken equipment or weather conditions before assessing a penalty. Telephone or radio communication to the starting line is useful in this regard.

4.0 It is the duty of competitors to inform officials in advance of their scheduled starting time if they will be late for a valid reason. Regardless of circumstances, the Starter has the option of starting a race without reference to absentees.

5.0 Upon the start of a race, the Referee shall fall in alongside or behind the crews and shall maneuver the Referee's launch outboard of the course or as close to potential problems as appropriate.

6.0 Starting Procedures:

6.0.1 Steerageway Start Steerageway is "the minimum forward speed needed to make a ship respond to the helmsman's guidance." All crews approach a moving starting line while maintaining steerageway under the direction of the Starter, who may call to individual coxwains to come ahead or to hold their position. The absolute position of the starting line is thus dynamic and forward-moving, and crews maintain just enough way on their vessels that the vessel is controllable. When it is the Starter's opinion that all vessels are fairly aligned and the Flagger is assured that all crews indicate their readiness, the Starter will call out "Ready All!", and crews may prepare for an imminent start. The Shooter then signals the start, typically by audible sound, whereupon crews may begin to pull hard. Crews who alter their stroke cadence or pull hard after the "Ready All!" call but prior to the Shooter's signal may be disqualified. During the starting procedure, bow hooks in each vessel must hold their flags aloft to indicate readiness to race. The Flagger informs the Starter of all vessels' flag positions during the starting procedure. In some cases (such as when vessels are affected by currents or when one or several competitors does not follow the Starter's instructions) a false start may be called if the Starter has determined that the vessels remain unfairly aligned after moving the starting line a great distance. The Starter then stops the steerageway starting procedure and requests that competitors reassemble at the original starting line. If necessary, the Starter will at this time warn crews of possible disqualification for failure to follow instructions, and crews who have been previously warned and are warned a second time will be disqualified (see Section III-F).

6.0.2 Easy Start When wind or current conditions make it difficult to keep vessels properly aligned for a steerageway starting procedure, an East Start may be used. All crews approach a static starting line under the supervision of the Starter, who may call to individual coxwains to come ahead or to hold their position. When all vessels are on the starting line but dead in the water, and it is the Starter's opinion that all are fairly aligned but not making way, and the Flagger is assured that all crews indicate their readiness, the Starter will call out "Ready All!", and crews may prepare for imminent start. The Shooter then signals the start, typically by audible sound, whereupon crews may begin to pull hard. Crews who pull ahead after the "Ready All!" call but prior to the Shooter's signal may be disqualified. During the starting procedure, bow hooks in each vessel must hold their flags aloft to indicate readiness to race. The Flagger informs the Starter of all vessels' flag positions during the starting procedure.

6.0.3 Timed Start

6.0.3a In a Timed Start, competing vessels may cross a designated fixed starting line (usually a line between the Starter's position and a readily visible landmark) at any speed and from any angle. A vessel must cross the starting line in a direction toward the finish line

after the sounding of the starting signal. No part of a vessel or its crew may cross the starting line prior to the starting signal without being required to return to behind the starting line in order to cross it properly. Vessels not crossing the starting line after the starting signal shall be disqualified.

6.0.3a.1 Preliminary Starting Signal. When the Starter is satisfied that all participants have gathered in the starting area, the Starter will call out by loudhailer that the preliminary starting signal will soon be given. The Shooter then sounds the preliminary starting signal to indicate that precisely four minutes (240 seconds) remain until the official start of the race. Coxwains and crews should be alert with stopwatches to mark this signal and begin their countdowns.

6.0.3a.2 The Starting Signal is sounded precisely four minutes (240 seconds) following the Preliminary Starting Signal.

6.0.3b Vessels starting the race must remain clear of any marks, start vessels, or bouys at either end of the starting line by a distance of one hundred feet (approximately four boat lengths) for at least two minutes prior to the start of the race. The intention of this rule is to avoid collisions and "barging" at the starting line when one or the other end of the starting line may be preferred by several or more vessels. From two minutes prior to the start of the regatta until its conclusion, vessels must stay clear of each other according to the following rules:

6.0.3b.1 Overtaking vessels must keep clear of the vessel they are overtaking until they are at least one boat length ahead, and they must maintain no less than twelve feet (approximately one half a boatlength) separation between the oars of their vessel and the oars of the other. Vessels being overtaken may not make extreme or unusual course corrections while the overtaking vessel is alongside or is within twenty-five feet (approximately one boatlength) astern. Vessels which violate this rule will be disqualified.

6.0.3b.2 A minimum twelve feet of lateral separation between the oars of two or more vessels alongside each other at the starting line must be maintained. Vessels awaiting the starting signals and maintaining station within fifty feet (approximately two boatlengths) of the starting line are considered privileged; other vessels approaching the line, regardless of speed or intent, are considered to be overtaking for the purposes of determining foul or disqualification.


1.0 The Starter/Referee should position his/her launch, throughout the race, to enable him/her to rapidly take whatever action may be required. Normally he/she will be positioned closest to the leading crews in a finals race, or closest to those which are contending for the lowest qualifying finish position in a preliminary race.

1.1 All chase vessels should be downwind of the race course to avoid fumes on the course.

2.0 The Referee's position will be influenced by the course itself.

3.0 Should the Referee need to address a crew, the launch should be positoned that he/she can be easily seen and heard. It is the Referee's duty to anticipate problems, and to be in the best position to handle them before they get out of hand. Such anticipatory skills cannot easily be taught or written; they are learned through experience.

4.0 The Referee may use any position of the course, even moving well off the course in efforts to maintain control of the race without washing trailing crews. Should the Referee have to overtake a crew in order to address a problem elsewhere on the course, it should be done in a way that causes the least wash for the overtaken crew. It is customary, when overtaking a crew, to warn them if they will have to row through a launch wake.


1.0 The Referee's primary duties are to assure the safety of all competitors and officials and that the race is properly conducted.

2.0 It is the responsibility of each crew to steer its own course, without external assistance. However, should a crew be about to interfere with another crew, whether by direct collision, clash of oars, of by its wash, the Referee has a duty to warn that crew if possible.

3.0 A Referee may warn a crew only to avoid an impending foul or to avoid collision with an obstruction in the crew's lane (debris, sailboat, stalled motorboat, etc.). A crew rowing in a lane other than its own or even rowing off the course, must not be addressed unless it is about to foul another crew or is in imminent danger.

4.0 Other circumstances which might require the Referee to address crews, to stop and restart a race, or to take other action include:

4.0.1 Weather or water conditions which may affect crews unevenly.

4.0.2 Actions of spectators which may impede crews close to shore.

4.0.3 Moving obstacles on the water, such as vessel traffic.

4.0.4 Coaching from shore or vessel is specifically prohibited, and must result in disqualification of the crew receiving instructions.

4.0.5 Any other circumstance which aids or impedes any competitor more than others.

5.0 Where lanes are asigned, the Referee shall be the sole judge of whether or not a crew is in its own lane.

6.0 If no protest is lodged, or if a protest has been withdrawn at the finish line, and if the Referee is satisfied that the race was properly run, he/she signifies that the race is official, and announces the order of finish.

7.0 Before leaving the finish line area, the Referee should be sure that no competitor has suffered injury or acute illness during the race. If such illness or injury is apparent, and if no one else has already responded to the situation, the Referee must assume immediate reponsibility for getting the stricken individual(s) to a first aid station.


1.0 If a foul has occurred, the Referee's chief reponsibility is to restore each crew's fair chance of winning. Thereafter an appropriate penalty may be assessed against the crew which has caused the foul. In principle, such penalties should be assessed only after one warning or correctional instruction has been given. Flagrant violations may be handled as the Referee deems appropriate, even if no instruction or warning has been given.

2.0 If a foul has occurred, the Referee may take one of two actions;

2.0.1 The Referee may allow the race to be completed, and make a decision after the order of finish is determined, taking into account whether the foul affected the outcome of the race. Options include allowing the finish to stand, with or without assessment of penalties to the offending crew(s) or ordering a rerow (with sufficient rest period, if required), with or without assessing penalties.

2.0.2 The Referee may stop the race when the foul occurs, assign the appropriate penalty to the offending crew(s), and then cause the race to be rerowed.

3.0 There are two levels of penalty which the Referee may utilize:

3.0.1 False Start. This penalty is typically given to a crew which leaves the starting line before the starting command is completed. In some cases, the Referee may choose to invoke this milder penalty rather than disqualification, depending and severity and intent of the infraction.

3.0.2 Disqualification. This penalty may be invoked for fouls which have disadvantaged another crew. It is typically only assessed after correctional instruction or warning has been given as discussed above, but, in extreme circumstances such as collision, it may be invoked with no prior warning.

3.0.3 A crew which has been assessed two false starts shall automatically be disqualified. False starts, however, apply only to a given heat or final event. Once a crew has successfully completed a given event, a single false start assessed prior to or during that event is erased. Such disqualification carries the same liablities as disqualification for any other reason.

3.0.4 A crew may be disqualified if its vessel, oars, or other items are found in violation of the equipment requirements described in Section IV. Vessels and accoutrement may be examined by a representative of the regatta organizing committee at any time prior to or following a race. Such inspections may be simply visual means or may include actual measurement and weighing.

3.0.5 A disqualified crew is removed from the heat or final in question, and may not row in subsequent heats of the same event. It is, however, eligible to row in other events of the same regatta unless specifically excluded from those as well.

4.0 In no case may a Referee's disqualification extend beyond the scope of the current race or regatta. In case of exceedingly flagrant violations, the Referee may advise the BAWRA Board of Directors in writing, including his/her recommendations for further action. Any action beyond disqualification at the current regatta may be undertaken only by the Board.

5.0 Damage resulting from a foul or any other cause shall be repaired at the expense of the crew which has caused the damage to occur. In case of dispute, the Referee shall decide the issue, subject to review as prescribed under protests, Section II-J, 2.0 to 7.0.

6.0 No one shall be entitled, based on damage suffered during a race, to claim postponement, or cancellation of the event. In case of damage caused by a foul, the decision shall be made by the Referee.

7.0 It is not permissible for competitors in a race to receive advice from other vessels on the water. The Referee is entitled to disqualify any crew which receives such advice, as well as any crew giving such advice, whether or not that advice is of assistance to the crew. The Referee is also required to report such incidents to the Board of Directors.

8.0 When a race is in progress, crews not participating in the race are not allowed to follow over any part of the course, even outside the marker buoys. Failure to abide by this fule may result in assesment of a false start penalty or in disqualification, as the Referee sees fit.


1.0 An event is completed when the last crew in that event has crossed the finish line. A crew is considered to have completed the race when the bow of their vessel crosses the finish line.

2.0 A crew which does not cross the finish line shall not be placed. It shall be considered not to have raced, and shall not be eligible for prizes or allowances, unless its failure to finish was due to circumstances beyond its control.

3.0 Crews must complete the race at a proper racing cadence. Crews which violate this rule for other than unavoidable circumstance may be required by the Referee to rerow part or all of the course if such a slow pace would provide an unfair advantage for subsequent heats.

4.0 In a final event, should two or more crews cross the finish line simultaneously, the Referee shall order them to rerow (after a sufficient rest period) to determine the order of finish. If one or more of the crews refuses to do so, the higher place will be awarded to the other crew(s), which the Referee may then exempt from rowing again.

4.0.1 In a preliminary event, a rerow between crews finishing in a dead heat might disadvantage the winner of the rerow by virtue of having to row one more race than other advancing crews. In such a situation, the Referee should consider allowing both crews to advance if an extra lane is available.

4.0.2 If the amount of time required for a rerow may jeopardize the race schedule, the Referee may allow both crews to advance.


1.0 Protests must be lodged immediately with a race official or the Referee by a crew's coxwain.

2.0 The Referee should hear a crew's complaint on the spot, and take one of three courses of action:

2.0.1 Courses of Action:

2.0.1a If the Referee concurs with the protest, he/she takes whatever action is appropriate.

2.0.1b If the Referee decides to accept the order of finish with penalties against one or more crews, he/she anounces the winning time and whatever penalties have been assessed.

2.0.1c If the Referee feels a rerow is indicated, he/she anounces penalties (if any) and informs the competitors of a new starting time before they leave the finish line area. This information is then shared with the finish line personnel.

2.0.1d If consultation is required before deciding on a course of action (e.g., a rerow for crews involved in a preliminary heat, or a need to see the order of finish before making a decision) the Referee makes appropriate arrangements with the competitors for informing them of decisions at the earliest possible time.

2.0.2 If the Referee does not agree with the crew's protest, he/she describes the situation as he/she perceived it, and informs the crew that in his/her opinion, there is no basis for action. If the crew agrees, thereby withdrawing the protest, the Referee announces the winning time.

2.0.3 If the crew does not accept the Referee's interpretation, he/she should say "you have the right to file a protest with the Jury. Such protest must be given in writing to a member of the Jury within one hour. It should be accompanied by $25.00 cash or check, which amount will be returned if the protest is upheld by the Jury." The Referee then announces the time, and informs finish line personnel that results are not official pending a Jury review.

3.0 Decisions of the Referee as to matters of fact regarding the running of a race are final and not subject to dispute.

4.0 In no circumstances will a protest be entertained by the Referee, the Jury, or the Board of Directors if it is not immediately lodged by the crew's coxswain before leaving the finish line area. Protests lodged on shore by coaches will not be considered.

5.0 If a protest has been referred to the Jury, and if the crew is not satisfied with the Jury's decision, it has three days in which to mail a written appeal to the Chair of the Jury. The Jury will make a recommendation to the Board of Directors within 5 working days of receiving the appeal. The Board will make it's decision on all appeals at it's earliest convenience. Decisions of the Board are final and not subject to further appeal.

6.0 If a protest is upheld at any point during initial review or appeal, the $25 payment will be returned to the crew. Should the protest be denied, however, the $25 is given to the regatta organizing committee.

7.0 Crews or clubs which, before, during or after a race, raise abusive objections or criticisms against the person or decisions of Referees or other race officials shall be reported to the Board. Such organizations or individuals may be temporarily suspended from participating in BAWRA registered regattas. Such action, however, may only be taken by the Board.


1.0 The Finish Line Judge and Placers are situated where they may sight the finish line between two designated marks.

2.0 As each vessel's bow crosses the finish, the finish line officials shall sound a horn and record the order of finish. If a Timer is present, he/she shall record each vessel's time.



1.0 The purpose of regulating the equipment used in whaleboat races is to make all vessels and equipment as equal as possible during races, such that outcome of competitionl shall depend upon the skill of the crew and coxwain.

1.0.1 A traditional Monomoy whaleboat is a double-ended pulling boat about 26 feet in length by 7 feet beam, 30 inches depth at the middle, and a shear of some 20 inches (height gunwale rises from midship section to each end). Named for the island of Monomoy on the southeast Massachusetts coast, these vessels are of excellent rough water capability and good carrying capacity, and were historically used as lifeboats and for general ship's work.


1.0 The shape of the hull, installation of fore and aft decks, seat thwarts, and location of rowlocks shall closely approximate the 1934 U.S. Coast Guard Plans No. 90870 and 90871. As Monomoys were built by many different yards throughout the United States, some tolerances may be acceptable to the Race Committee. The only purpose of the tolerances is to allow for minor building errors and for natural aging of the vessel.

2.0 To insure that all vessels participating in regattas are equal and built to the original Coast Guard lines, vessels constructed after December 31, 1985 must have an approved measurement certificate. Any competing vessel built previously to the above date must have lines and dimensions similar to a Monomoy and must meet minimum weight requirements as specified in Section B.2.0.2. The measurement certificate is good for the life of the vessel, except where modification or repairs have altered the measured dimensions.

2.0.1 Should a vessel not meet the measurements within the specified tolerances, a certificate may be issued by an admeasurer subject to review by the Rules Committee and the Board of Directors.

2.0.2 All vessels built requiring a certificate must meet the following criteria:

TABLE 2.0.2.: Measurements

Dimension Tolerance
Length (not including stems) 26' 00" 1-1/2"
Sheer (above baseline) Bow 4' 3-1/2" 1"
Seat 1 (aft edge) 2' 8-1/2" 1"
Seat 2 (aft edge) 2' 6-1/2" 1"
Seat 3 (aft edge) 2' 6-1/2" 1"
Seat 4 (aft edge) 2' 9-1/2" 1"
Stern 4' 2-1/2" 1"
Beam (not including guards) Seat 1 (aft edge) 6' 11" 1-1/2"
Seat 2 (aft edge) 7' 1" 1-1/2"
Seat 3 (aft edge) 7' 1-1/2" 1-1/2"
Seat 4 (aft edge) 6' 9" 1-1/2"
Seat (from bow) Seat 1 (aft edge) 7' 9" 1"
Seat 2 (aft edge) 11' 4-1/2" 1"
Seat 3 (aft edge) 14' 7" 1"
Seat 4 (aft edge) 17' 11" 1"
Hull Half Girths (projected shell C/L to sheer) Seat 1 (aft edge) --- 1-1/2"
Seat 2 (aft edge) ---- 1-1/2"
Seat 3 (aft edge) ---- 1-1/2"
Seat 4 (aft edge) ---- 1-1/2"
Keel (amidships) Minimum Width 3" 1/2"
Minimum Depth 2" 1/2"
Stem and Sternpiece Minimum Width 2" 1/2"
Minimum Depth 2" 1/2"
Oarlock (Distance from aft seat edge) 12" 3/4"
Oars Length 12' 0" 1-1/2"
Width (unrestricted) --
Sweep Length 16' 0" 3"
Hull Weight (minimum) 1800 lbs. ---

2.0.3. All vessels are subject to inspection and measurement without notice prior to a regatta. Such inspections will be undertaken by a measurer appointed by the Rules Committee or the Referee.

3.0 Vessels may be built of any material. The vessel shall be stoutly built in keeping with the original purpose of these vessels.

3.0.1 The seats shall be fixed.

3.0.2 Foot stretchers may be adjustable and must have some form of quick release for the safety of the oarsman.

3.0.3 The vessel shall be built in such a manner that it will remain afloat with its normal racing crew compliment in a swamped condition.

3.0.4 The vessels shall weigh no less than the minimum allowed in Section IV-B-2.0.2. Fixed ballast shall be carried as required to meet this minimum weight. All ballast shall be evenly distributed throughout the length of the vessel. Minimum weight shall include all necessary hardware and equipment such as towing and docking lines, rowlocks, and stretchers but shall not include oars, personal flotation devices, or other ancillary items.

3.0.5 Vessels may or may not have centerboard trunks.


1.0 Oars must be made of wood and have a uniform, non-laminated solid shaft. Blades must be straight and symetrical. Necessary repairs upon oars by using fiberglass or plastics are acceptable upon the judgement of the Referee.

2.0 A United States Coast Guard approved Type I, II, or III Personal Flotation Device (PFD) shall be carried on board the vessel for each person on board. The coxwain is required to wear his/her PFD while underway during competition.

3.0 A minimum of one United States Coast Guard approved Type IV throwable Personal Flotation Device (such as a ring, cushion, or horseshoe bouy) shall be carried on board the vessel during competition.

4.0 Crews are advised to carry other safety equipment as may be required by federal law (33CFR), particularly when ferrying vessels to and from the regatta location from their berths. While no regatta is run in darkness, crews are reminded that the law requires vessels propelled by oars to have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light which shall be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision. In addition, pyrotechnic visual distress signals (flares) or special lights are required after dark. By day, although excepted from the requirement when participating in organized events such as races, regattas, or marine parades, a distress signalling flag is required. Prudence and common sense should dictate the installation of adequate safety equipment aboard all vessels, which is the responsibility of each vessel's crew.

5.0 Stroke counters, timers, calculators, and hand-held loud hailers may be carried and used by coxwains during a regatta. Two-way radios may be carried on board vessels during a regatta, but may only be used to communicate with race officials and, in an emergency, for purposes of safety.


1.0 The crew of a vessel must wear identical shirts during competition for purposes of identification by officials.


1.0 Except for their normal club emblems, competitors may not wear any clothing within the regatta area that carries advertising matter of any sort. Clothing may, however, carry the name and/or logo of a team's sponsor.

2.0 The name of a vessel and/or its sponsoring organization may be carried once on each side of the hull and is limited in size to letters or designs no more than 12 inches in height, including any background color.

3.0 No advertising matter may be carried on lane markers or turning buoys.

4.0 These rules are in no way intended to infringe upon the right of the Bay Area Whaleboat Rowing Association to raise funds by selling advertising space in programs or on billboards or other structures near the regatta site.

5.0 Any questions regarding the interpretation of this rule or requests for exceptions to this rule shall be addressed the the BAWRA Board of Directors, which is entitled to modify them in any way and at any.