published Thursday, October 31st, 2013

Head of the Hooch regatta this weekend - Nov. 2-3

Rowers compete in the 2012 Head of the Hooch regatta on the Tennessee River. Ross’s Landing is the finish line for the timed, 3.1-mile races.
Rowers compete in the 2012 Head of the Hooch regatta on the Tennessee River. Ross’s Landing is the finish line for the timed, 3.1-mile races.
  • photo
    Spectators sit along the grandstands at Ross’s Landing Park to watch last year’s Head of the Hooch regatta.

IF YOU GO

* What: Head of the Hooch rowing regatta.

* When: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3 (approximate times).

* Where: Ross's Landing Park, 201 Riverfront Parkway.

* Admission: Free.

* Website: www.headofthehooch.org.

PRIME VIEWING SPOTS

* Grandstands at Ross's Landing Park

* Walnut Street Bridge

* Coolidge Park/North Shore

* Tennessee Riverwalk

Head of the Hooch, one of the world's largest rowing regattas, will fill the Chattanooga riverfront this weekend.

Organizers report that 2,045 boats from 188 crews and four countries are expected to race over the two days, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 1-2. That number includes 1,200 boats on Saturday alone, more in one day than any other regatta, they say.

The Head of the Hooch was organized by the Atlanta Rowing Club in 1981 and named for its original location on the Chattahoochee River. To accommodate the large increase in entries each year, it was moved to Chattanooga in 2005, with Lookout Rowing Club as a co-sponsor.

The first races will start at 8:40 a.m. Saturday, with boats launching from the docks and rowing to the starting line about an hour before. Competitors row a 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) course on the Tennessee River, ending at Ross's Landing. Results are based on time, with boats crossing the starting line in each race about 15 seconds apart.

Two types of boats (shells) are used for the two types of rowing featured in the head race: sweep rowing and sculling. In sweep rowing, each rower has one oar about 12.5 feet long. In sculling, a rower uses two oars, each about 9.5 feet long. Programs detailing the boats in the race can be picked up in the Registration Tent, corner of Power Alley and Riverfront Parkway, or in most of the downtown hotel lobbies.

Thirty-two vendors, offering everything from rowing equipment to food, will be set up at Ross's Landing both days, and Chattanooga Market will host a selection of food, arts and crafts on Saturday at Riverfront Parkway between Market and Chestnut streets.

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