Head of the Lake Classic Course
The three-mile course starts in Lake Union along “boathouse row” with Seattle’s iconic Space Needle in view. Rowers wind beneath the University Bridge into Portage Bay and through the Montlake Cut to Lake Washington where the course takes an exciting turn back toward Husky Stadium to the finish line near the entrance to Conibear Shellhouse at the University of Washington.
A shortened course is planned if inclement weather dictates.
We know a lot of people have questions about the first turn of the Head of the Lake course. Check out this video of the first turn to get an idea of what course to take on race day. Pocock Turn Video…
The race can be viewed from the shore along most of its length. Best viewing spots are:
- The start near College Club’s boathouse
- Pocock Rowing Center.
- Along the Montlake cut
- University and Montlake bridges
Important Rule Notes
IF EITHER THE RACING SHELL OR OARS OF ANY CREW OR INDIVIDUAL ROWER CROSSES OVER THE OUTSIDE (PORT) BUOY LINE WHILE TAKING THE “POCOCK” TURN, (ROWING UNDER THE I-5 AND UNIVERSITY BRIDGES), THE CREW OR THE ROWER WILL BE DISQUALIFIED.
ANY CREW OR INDIVIDUAL ROWER THAT MISSES THEIR EVENT WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO RACE.
All Quad (4X) Entries-PLEASE READ and NOTE
Due the extremely dangerous first turn on the course (going past Pocock Rowing Center and under the University Bridge) the HOTL Race Directors along with the Coaching Staff at the University of Washington firmly request that only experienced quad rowers enter this event. Even more crucial is that the rower steering the quad has had significant prior head race experience. This is a tight and partially blind corner and quads are very fast and have no coxswain to help them navigate. There are also boats that need to cross the race course to exit or return to Pocock Rowing Center which makes this the most dangerous area on the course.