FALS Guidelines

Coaches, Coxswains, and Competitors

For your clarification and safety, please read and follow these guidelines:

  •  Good Sportsmanship Must Prevail At All Times
  •  Dock Access: Some docks will have fenced corridors with well-marked entrances to allow for controlled and safe dock access. Please determine where these corridor entrances are before your event. Tampering with or ignoring those fences may result in a violation of the Regatta’s good sportsmanship rule.
  •  Bow Numbers and Bibs: Each boat must have a bow card affixed to the bow. Shirt number card must be worn visibly on the back of each single sculler, each bow seat rower, and each coxswain. An additional shirt card number (bib) will be provided for all boats and must be affixed to stern decking with tape. Bow loaded fours should affix one bib to the back of the bow seat and one bib to the stern decking.
  •  Bow Ball: All boats must have an appropriate bow ball affixed firmly or they will not be able to launch for practice/racing. Competitors are responsible for obtaining a bow ball if necessary.
  •  Foot Stretchers: All boats with flexible sole shoes attached to foot stretchers must have their shoe heels attached to allow for quick exit in case of emergency. If heel ties are not attached, boats will be asked to step aside to obtain ties to fix this before launching.
  •  Oars: Crews should have oars ready at the dock area (HOCR volunteers will relay oars between shore and boat). Crews should tie in at the dock before launching and be ready to row upon leaving the dock. This should be done in a smooth and rapid fashion.
  •  Time On The Dock: Crews have about 2-3 minutes to load, tie-in, and launch; 3-4 minutes to clear docks after landing.
  •  Competitor-Only Areas & Dockmasters: For safety reasons, docks and immediate shore areas are restricted to active competitors and one boat representative in addition to HOCR volunteers. Docks are parallel to the shore so only one side may be used. Depending on the dockmaster’s call, a dock may be used for launching or landing. Please listen carefully to the dockmaster of that dock for specific instructions. Launching crews may take priority over landing crews. Crews should proceed in a single-file line from the FALS docks downstream to the start.
  •  Rowing To The Start: Crews must proceed firmly, with no stopping to watch races and with no power strokes until designated areas.
  •  Due to this dock setup, it is imperative that you listen to instructions from the dockmasters and FALS race officials.


  • Launch Time: Suggested launching is 75 minutes before race time. If you need more time, please adjust accordingly.
  • On The Docks: Some docks may be wet or there may be some water between the dock and the shore, depending on water levels. Competitors should wear proper shoes or plan accordingly.
  • Landing: Boats may not be able to land at the dock from which they launched. Please ensure that footwear is either in the boat or in responsible hands
  • Skegs and Rudders: Please be very careful putting in and taking out boats. The Charles River may be shallow and/or rocky near the docks and may present a hazard to skegs and rudders.