Regattas & Camps


Instructions for OMS 2016 Regatta

OMS Medal

This page provides information regarding entry rules, payment policy, trailer parking, parking fees, what to bring and not to bring, refunds, and refreshments.

Entry Rules and Limitations

Occoquan Boat Club (OBC) welcomes you to the 2016 Occoquan Memorial Sprints Regatta (OMS), to be held Sunday, July 10th on the beautiful Occoquan Reservoir at Sandy Run Park, Lorton, Virginia. Sandy Run Park is the home of the Virginia High School championships, with stake-boat starts, smooth water and a grandstand viewing area.

In 2015, OBC renamed the regatta to the Occoquan Memorial Sprints to ensure rowers of all levels are encouraged to register and to compete on our ideal waters.  

The OMS schedule allows most competitors the opportunity to enter multiple events in a variety of boat classes.

The proceeds from OMS races benefit rowing high school students who apply for financial assistance under the “Julia Shew Memorial Rowing Scholarship.” Twelve high school rowing clubs call Sandy Run home and OBC is proud to have provided more than fifty scholarships totaling more than $17,890 since the inception of the regatta.

In 2015, OBC opened up the OMS regatta to both “Juniors” and “Masters” from categories AA-J. “Juniors” are high school students or graduated seniors. A “Master” is a competitor who has attained or will attain the age of 21 during the current calendar year (more details below).

We suggest that no rower should plan to participate in events closer than 60 minutes apart. We plan to have all races start on time, and boats late to the start will not be allowed to race in different heats than scheduled. Docks will be available near the finish line for competitors to hot dock.

Waivers — Waivers should be signed online at by 4 July 2016.  We understand that last minute substitutions must occasionally be made.  However, any substitutions must also have signed waivers online by the SAME 4 July 2016 deadline.

Coxswains must also sign waivers.

Age Classifications — Per The United States Rowing Association (USRA), Rules of Rowing 2006 Edition:

  • Rule 4-104 (b) Master: A Master is a competitor who has attained or will attain the age of 21 during the current calendar year.
  • A competitor’s age is determined as of December 31 of the current calendar year, rounded down to the highest contained integer.
  • A competitor thus becomes a Master on January 1 of the year of his or her 21st birthday.
  • A Masters crew shall be comprised exclusively of Masters rowers, but the coxswain need not be a Master.
  • For the Occoquan Memorial Sprints regatta,
    • (1) Masters crews shall be classified by age according to the following categories:
      • (A) 27 to 35 years,
      • (B) 36 to 42 years,
      • (C) 43 to 49 years,
      • (D) 50 to 54 years,
      • (E) 55 to 59 years,
      • (F) 60 to 64 years,
      • (G) 65 to 69 years,
      • (H) 70 to 74 years,
      • (I) 75 to 79 years,
      • (J) 80 and over.
      • The age category of a Masters crew shall be determined by the average age of the rowers in the crew, rounded to the nearest integer. The age of a coxswain shall not be counted. The ages of individual rowers need not fall within the age category, so long as each rower is a Master and so long as the average age of the crew falls within the applicable category.
    • (2) A Masters crew may compete in a lower (younger) age category, but not in a higher category.
  • Competitors whose ages fall within the AA category (21-26 years) may participate in crews averaging category A and above.  We will not have special AA events.

Handicaps — The race course is 1000 meters. Handicaps, when needed, will be applied based on average age of the rowers in the boat. The handicap table from the US Rowing web site will be used.

Composite Entries — We will not be awarding team trophies. Therefore, there is no need to consider “composite” entries. Each boat will be listed based on the club association as entered at registration time. Thus, a rower may compete in multiple events under different club associations.

Lightweight Events

  • A lightweight is defined as a woman weighing 130 pounds or less or a man weighing 160 pounds or less, as established at the regatta site on the day of the regatta.
  • A lightweight crew is defined as a crew where all members are at or below the lightweight limit for their gender. Thus, there is no average weight requirement.
  • Lightweight crews must weigh in together on the day of the regatta. Weigh-in will be at the registration area and will open at 7:00 AM. We will not have lightweight mixed events.

Novice Events — We will have novice 1X, 4+, and 8+ events.

  • Novice events this early in the season are primarily learning events, and we encourage novice sweep boats to have experienced coxswains.
  • Novice sweep events may be age handicapped if needed.
  • Novice 1X events will not be age handicapped.
  • A novice entry must be comprised of all novice rowers.
  • For the novice 1X events, a novice 1X sculler is one who has not competed in any 1X sculling event before 2015.
  • For the novice 4+ and 8+ events, a novice rower is one who has not competed (sweep or sculling) before 2016.

Heats — We will break the events down into heats after close of registration on 4 July 2016. The heat breakouts will be posted on the Ronin web site as soon as possible after that occurs. We will try to make good use of all lanes on the course, and will use handicapping if necessary to ensure everyone has a competitive race. Our approach will be to have the rowers in each heat as close in age as possible. Each heat will be a separate race and will be considered a final.

Protests and Protest Fees — Any protests must first be lodged with the race referee on the water, and then subsequently submitted in writing to the protest committee within 1 hour after the completion of the race. The fee to file a protest is $50, and this fee will be returned to the boat lodging the protest only if the protest is upheld.

Late Scratches — Occasionally, late scratches may allow two heats for the same event to be coalesced into a single final race. When possible, this will be addressed by the registration committee by re-issuing bow numbers and lane assignments before boats are launched. Otherwise, assignment of boats to lanes will be directed by the race marshals. If an entry intends to scratch, please help the race committee and your fellow competitors with early notification to the registration committee.

Awards — A first place medal will be awarded for each heat of each event.

Information for Coxswains

Information on the race course, any hazards, traffic patterns, dock usage, and safety will be in race packets and will also be available at the registration table. There will also be an optional brief coxswains’ meeting at 7:00 a.m.

Payment Policy

Entry fees are as follows:

  • 8+ = $90,
  • 4+/4X = $50,
  • 2X = $30 and
  • 1X = $20.

Entries made via Ronin Racing are considered complete when entry fees and waivers have been received by Ronin Racing.

OBC will not accept mail-in payments or payments on the day of the regatta. There will be no exceptions. If payment has not been made by 8 July 2016, the boat will be scratched and will not be placed on the schedule.

Trailer Parking

The Sandy Run facility will be open for trailer parking on Saturday, 9 July 2016, from 1:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Two critical points to note:

  • (1) the gate leading to the facility will be locked at 8:00 p.m. Saturday night, and will once again open starting at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, 10 July 2016, the day of the regatta; and
  • (2) there is no room for parking trailers or other vehicles outside the gate as it is a residential neighborhood. Vehicles parked here are subject to being towed.

Crews will be able to practice on the Occoquan on Saturday, 9 July 2016, but must be off the water in time to depart the park no later than 8:00 p.m.

Parking Fees

There will be a $10 parking fee for vehicles to park at Sandy Run Park. Exceptions will be made only for vehicles cartopping a boat, pulling a trailer, or with two or more competitors, or for race officials. As parking is limited and can be unpredictable, we strongly encourage you to car pooling.

What To Bring

  • Boat slings and other boat accessories.
  • Bow markers:  OBC has very few markers, and we cannot guarantee that one will be available, so please make arrangements to bring your own.

What Not To Bring

  • Alcohol is strictly prohibited in the park.
  • Because rowing is an athletic sport, and Sandy Run is a regional park, smoking at the venue is highly discouraged.
  • No pets are allowed inside the park on regatta days.
  • No grills or open flames.


Refunds will be given to boats withdrawing prior to midnight 4 July 2016, minus any fees to refund your registration (i.e. Ronin processing fee). Any boat withdrawing after 4 July 2016 will not receive a refund. Any boats for which waivers have not been received by 4 July 2016 will not be placed on the schedule and will not receive a refund. Per standard practice at most regattas, no refunds will be made for events cancelled due to weather or other similar circumstances.

Refunds will be processed after the regatta and will be mailed out by the end of July.


OBC will be selling water, sports drinks, and snacks. No other vendors will be present. An ice cream social follows the OMS regatta, free to all competitors and their guests.

Park Rangers will not permit grilling or lighting of any fires on the park premises.

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