Head of the Niagara & Wright Regatta

Head of the Niagara & Wright Regatta
Sunday, Oct 13, 2019

West Side Row Club
One Rotary Row
Buffalo, NY 14201

Upcoming this weekend, the Head of the Niagara & Wright Regatta is held in Buffalo NY at West Side Row Club on Sun, Oct. 13. It is an early day arrival, plan on being there ALL DAY. Expect to see quite a few good Canadian and Buffalo crews competing in this regatta. The HNWR is rowed over 3.04 miles of the Black Rock Canal. Crews will start near Forest Ave. rowing under two bridges during the race and finish at the finish line south of the Fontana Boathouse across from LaSalle Park .

Notes for Sunday:

  • Plan accordingly for approximately 1 hr 30 min. travel time
  • Rower Drop-Off: The best place to do a QUICK drop-off is near Porter Ave. & Rotary Row just before turning left towards LaSalle Park to park. Officials will not allow you to stop but for a few moments there and will keep you moving along.
  • Parking sites, map links and information are noted in the Parking section below. These can also be seen on the regatta site map picture in light blue.
  • Suggested Spectator spots information is listed from the race organizers in the Spectator section below.

Go Mercy!
Coach Clark & the Coaches


  • Friday 10/11 –  Practice at the Boathouse – 3:30-5:30 pm
    • Team Photo Day (Rescheduled from 10/2)
    • Trailer Loading
    • No School/ No Carpool Rowers should plan to arrange their own transportation to practice
  • Sunday 10/13  – RACE DAY
    • 7:45 am – Coxswains Arrival
    • 8:00 am – Coaches & Coxswains Meeting Westside Boardroom
    • 8:30 am – Team Arrival
      • Plan accordingly for approximately 1 hr 30 min. travel time
      • Meet at the Trailer to Unload & Rig Boats
    • Breakfast 🍳🥓
    • 10:10 am – Novice 4+ Launch
    • 10:50 am – Event 14 (Bow 59) – Youth Womens Fresh/ Novice 4+ (Boat: Peartree)
    • 10:50 am – Varsity 2V 8+‘s Launch
    • 11:30 am – Event 16 (Bows 69 & 71) – Youth Womens Varsity 2V 8+‘s (Boats: King & SS)
    • Lunch 🌮🥗
    • 1:00 pm – Varsity 1V 8+ Launch
    • 1:10 pm – Novice 8+ Launch
    • 1:40 pm – Event 30 (Bow 122) – Youth Womens Varsity 1V 8+ (Boat: New 8)
    • 1:50 pm – Event 31 (Bow 127– Youth Womens Fresh/ Novice 8+ (Boat: Tica)


  • Girls should report directly to the trailer by their scheduled arrival time.
  • Boats will meet and warm up 1.5 hours before launch time.
  • Boats will get ‘hands on 1 hour prior to race time.
  • Boats will launch no later than 40 minutes prior to their event.
  • Boats are to launch from the docks at the WSRC Boathouse.
  • Boats will return to the docks at the Fontana Boathouse.
  • There will be a 60­ sec. limit for all crews on the docks.
  • Boats must be at the Start at least 10 minutes prior to the race time.
  • Boats will be started in order of their bow numbers at approximately 15­ second intervals.
  • Once boats have crossed the Finish Line, they must keep rowing until they reach the end of the Break Wall.
  • Custom designed awards will be awarded to 1st place crews.



Heat Sheets provide the final detailed schedule with times, event numbers, competing crews & bow numbers.

Coxswains: Prior to race day please review the following (click the links):
Rowers and Parents:  You may find this information helpful as well.

  • All races will be 5K (3.04 miles). Start past Forest Ave and end before the gap at LaSalle Park.
  • There will be a no passing under the Ferry Street Lift Bridge, which is the first bridge crews will go through.
  • There will be a slight head current on the course, as crews will be racing from north to south along the Canal. Wind speed and direction will be determined on the day of the race.


  • Varsity
    • Unisuits
    • Pink Sports Bra
    • Pink Headsweats Visor or Hat
    • Optional: Mercy Crew jacket
    • Optional: White long sleeve tech shirt and navy or black leggings for the cooler morning
  • Novice
    • Navy Mercy Crew t-shirt
    • Navy Rowing/ Spandex Shorts
    • Light Blue Headsweats Visor or Hat
    • Optional: Mercy Crew jacket
    • Optional: White long sleeve tech shirt and navy or black leggings for the cooler morning
  • Everyone should come dressed with a layer of warm clothing especially for the early morning. It is always colder by the water than the normal temperature.
  • Waterproof boots are a good idea as there is a lot of grassy area near the tents and on the path between the boat trailers and the WSRC Boathouse & hospitality tents that tends to get muddy with the heavy foot traffic.
  • It’s always a good idea to have a light pair of gloves and winter hat with you and a warmer jacket if the temps change.
  • Have a plastic garbage bag with you to put your bag in to keep it dry if it rains or is wet near the trailer.


  • Rowers are to meet at the trailer at the time indicated. You will have your uniform on, water bottle ready, sneakers for warm up and positive attitude by this time.
  • Rowers come dressed for the weather with dry layers/sunscreen/refillable water bottle and of course their uniform.
  • Coxswains attend the coxswain meeting and meet with their boats to go over race plan.
  • Rowers bring their own oars down to the dock area.
  • After your race, you will meet as a boat before being dismissed to get food.
  • No wandering off, check in with a coach if leaving the race area, even if with your family.  Stay with a buddy and cheer on your teammates.
  • You are representing Mercy Crew and Our Lady of Mercy. You will conduct yourself with good sportsmanship throughout the day.
  • Be alert on the dock and in the trailer area.
  • There will be down time. Rowers cannot leave the venue during down time, and are expected to be by the trailer or cheering for teammates throughout the day.  Homework is a good option during down time!


  • Think of the trailer like a locker room. Parents should not be by the trailer. We want the girls to be independent rigging their equipment and focusing on their races when it is time to meet.
  • For safety/ efficiency, parents should not be on the dock, unless asked by a coach to help.
  • Have fun! Cheer on your girls! And celebrate their continued hard work!
  • Regattas are all day affairs, bring a chair, binoculars (maybe a book) and enjoy.


  • Breakfast: We will cooking eggs & bacon as well as have bagels, fruit, yogurt & other misc continental breakfast items available as usual..
  • Lunch:  We will be preparing a make your own taco bar & garden salad.
  • Please remember to bring your assigned food donations – we rely on all of these items to be available for the rowers and families at each regatta. All food donations should be brought to the Mercy Crew Hospitality Tent upon arrival.
  • All food & drink is available for rowers & families throughout the day.
  • If you have not yet provided your family’s meal count for the regatta, please do so ASAP by clicking the Signup Genius link below.

Head of the Niagara & Wright Regatta Hospitality RSVP

Please contact Hospitality Chairs, Tina Trudeau, Christine Thomas or Val Riggs with any questions at hospitality@mercycrew.org


  • Parents are encouraged to wear their fan wear and to bring your cow bells and noise makes to cheer the rowers on. Binoculars are helpful too to view down the course as the boats approach.
  • Bring chairs and maybe have a blanket on hand to keep warm as it is typically a little chillier by the water.
  • Bring waterproof boots as the grassy area where the tents and viewing area are tends to get muddy with the heavy foot traffic of the day.
  • Point of interest, you might enjoy checking out Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fontana Boathouse which is on the race site and where the return docks are located.


Spectating will be viewed on the WS Lawn but regatta organizers recommend to go on the new Observation Tower and Bike Path. From there the course is visible from start to finish. There is a lower path that is on the last 500 meters and an upper path that leads to the tower.  The path is accessible from Porter Ave and the view is great!  See Regatta site map below.


Parking is located at Front Park, La Salle Park, and Busti Ave. Beginning at 6AM and concluding after the last race a Shuttle Bus will be driving around LaSalle Park and Front Park. From Busti you can either walk down the bike path and directly to the Boathouse or walk to Front Park and catch the shuttle. It is probably the easiest place to park. Links are provided here:

Head of the Niagara & Wright Regatta 2019 Congratulations!

Congratulations to the Varsity 2V 8+ and Novice 8+ on their 2nd Place finishes and to our Varsity 1V 8+ and 3V 8+ and Novice 4+ on their 4th Place finishes! Awesome job ladies!



For more information click on our HNWR webpage HERE.