Head of the Bay 2015

4 July 2015

at 06:30

Durban Rowing Club,

Durban Harbour

8 or 12 km routes

Coxes & Captains' briefing at 06:00

(All visiting crews and coxes are expected to attend this briefing)

ENTRIES CLOSE 17:00 ON 26TH JUNE. For entry and other details download the document


Sunrise is at 06:52
High tide: 05:01
Low tide 11:14
The tide will affect your boat speed, your boat will obviously be slower rowing against the outgoing tide and quicker rowing with the tide.

Durban's Head of the Bay regatta, often referred to as HoB, has been held for more years than most can remember. It is held during our winter - usually in late June or early July - the date being dependent on the tides, currents and full moon.

The course comprises some 12 kilometres in often challenging conditions, from the DRC club house in the yacht harbour to the furthest point in the Bay (opposite the Bluff yacht club) and back. In recent years a shorter, 8 kilometre course has been introduced in addition to the main route, so that novice, young junior and social crews may also take part without over-exerting themselves.

Until 1963 the race was purely social and crews took part just for fun, but since then the introduction of handicaps based on boat type and age of crew has made it more formal and, dare we say it, competitive!

The course runs through a fully functional commercial harbour and is marked by the shipping lanes' buoys, although umpires stand by at some markers to ensure safety and fairness. The average crew takes approximately 60 minutes to complete the 12 km course in "real" time. Final placing is based on "corrected" time after handicaps have been taken into account. It is not unusual, these days, for the winning crew (or sculler) to produce a corrected time of below 40 minutes.

The challenge of the HoB race lies in the rowers being sufficiently conditioned - and having the ability - to row at a high steady state; to steer correctly and effectively around the course whilst taking into account the currents, wind and tides; and steering clear of ships, tugs, ski boats and all manner of other maritime traffic. The benefit in training for HoB helps athletes to keep fit during winter and gives a focus to those long, dark mornings. It is also excellent base endurance training which assists being "regatta ready" for the following season.

Historical rumour (there are none that actually remember the fact alive today) has it that many, many years ago, even President Oom Paul Kruger came to the port specially to watch.

The next HoB will be held on Saturday the . . . . . June 2015. Entries close 22 May 2015. Kindly enter with your crew's details, boat and the names and ages of all crew members

Course Map:

"Why should you row a boat race? Why endure the long months of pain in preparation for a fierce half hour that will leave you all but dead? Does anyone ask the question? Is there anyone who would not go through all the costs, and more, for the moment when anguish breaks into triumph or even for the glory of having nobly lost? Is life less than a boat race? If a man will give the blood in his body to win the one, will he spend all the might of his soul to prevail in the other?"
- Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"...Reflect on your experiences and accomplishments. Remember the dedication, the pain, the jubilation, the camaraderie, your family. Remember the feel of the oar in your hand, the swing, the perfect catch, the pull, the drive and the run of the boat beneath you. But most importantly, never forget that the glory is not in you or any individual. Instead, remember that the glory is always in the team."
- Joe Blasko, Coach, Saint Ignatius HS (Cleveland)