Decades-Old Tradition Returns to the Rock River

The YMCA Rowing Crew will once again host the Head of the Rock Regatta. 
The race has been cancelled the past three years due to flooding and COVID-19. The YMCA Rowing Crew is excited for the return of the event, which had been an annual event since 1985. What started as a match between the University of Wisconsin and Northwestern University, has turned into one of the Midwest’s premier rowing events.
The race begins at Martin Park and ends 5,000 meters or 3.2 miles later at the YMCA Log Lodge. The Regatta is a sanctioned event of the United States Rowing Association. The event often draws 50 teams with 2,000 rowers and 600 boats to the Rock River. Division I, II, and III colleges will be competing as well as local YMCA Rowing Crew members. Spectators typically line the river banks from the Y all the way to Martin Park to cheer on the rowers.
“After a 3-year hiatus, we are ready to bring this event back to life,” said Jane Johnson, YMCA Rowing Crew. “We have spent months planning the safest way to execute the event - ensuring the athletes and vendors are spaced out on our property.”
“We have greatly missed the excitement and energy of race day,” said John Boothby, Regatta Volunteer. “We can’t wait for our community to experience the regatta again as we highlight talented rowers and one of our region’s most valuable assets - the Rock River.”

Head of the Rock Regatta
Sunday, October 10, 2021
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Near the YMCA Log Lodge
Along the banks of the Rock River
200 Y Boulevard, Rockford