• Friday before HOTB 4 - 6:30 pm: Pick up t-shirt & bow number
  • 5:45 am: Marshal briefing
  • 6:00 am: Competitor and coxswain briefing
  • 7:00 am: Racing starts
  • ~10/10:30 am: Medal ceremony
  • 11:30 am: Sykes: Concept2 erg raffle draw

Toowong Rowing Club (TRC) welcomes you to their annual Head of the Brisbane regatta, which is held on the third Saturday in October. Racing kicks off at 7:00 am from the TRC pontoon off Keith Street, St Lucia. The Head of the Brisbane is open to all rowing boat categories: 1x to 8+, and rowers from all age groups: School, Open, and Masters.

We will hold the race briefing on the morning of the HOTB. Crowd around the bottom of the function centre. We will also have banners up displaying the course when you come to pick up your t-shirt and bow number from the TRC function centre from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm the Friday night before the race. Feel free to ask questions.

TRC verandah for Race Briefing


Any cars left in the TRC car park after 12:00 pm on the Friday before race day WILL BE TOWED AT THE OWNER'S EXPENSE. We need to close the car park off for trailers that will arrive throughout the day.

The Head of the Brisbane is an approximate 9.5 km time trial starting at the TRC pontoon. With each crew heading off at 10-second intervals, the challenge will be to hold off the competition while trying to catch the boat in front.

The start and finish line will be slightly upstream from the Toowong Rowing Club pontoon. The turnaround, which will be marked by anchored buoys, will be approximately 5km upstream of the start as shown in the map below.

HOTB Start Finish


Crews entering the river will do so via the Toowong Rowing Club pontoon situated in front of the TRC lower shed. The Pontoon Marshals will advise crews when it is safe to depart the pontoon and safely make their way down river past the start line. At a point that the cox deems safe and while obeying any instructions of the Course Marshal the crew will row across to the northern bank to row downstream for the purpose of warming up and joining the start queue. Crews approaching the marshalling area from a club located along the Brisbane River (i.e. they didn't boat from the TRC pontoon) must ensure they avoid crews starting and finishing the race and other crews entering the marshalling area.

A 500m zone downstream of the Start Line is the designated Start Marshalling Area. Crews that are not preparing to join the start queue should not enter this zone and should carry out their warm up exercises downstream of this area.

Crews must be prepared to be lined up at least 10 minutes prior to their start time. The Start Marshals will assist crews in forming up for the start.

While the start time for your race is set out in the draw the actual start time will be determined by the Start Marshal in order to best deal with the prevailing conditions and the movements of other river craft including the City Cats.

Each crew shall form up for their start in single file following the alpha numeric order. From a stationary position crews will be called to commence rowing approximately 100m from the actual start line by the Starting Umpire. Each crews' starting time will be taken as they cross the start line. Crews are encouraged to be at full race pace as they cross the start line, which will be marked by a red buoy on the rowers' stroke side.  

Please note that the City Cat service will continue to operate throughout the event and crews must be aware of their presence and give way to the City Cats.

 The Start/ Finish area will be a very busy place, so it is vitally important that rowers and coxes stay alert and obey the instructions of the Marshals and put safety first at all times.

 Full HOTB Course






The course winds its way down the river under the spectator friendly Eleanor Schonell Bridge. The sharp turn after the bridge will test each crews’ mettle as they vie for the best line. The straight past the University of Queensland and King’s College will see the pressure turn on, and the rating escalate. Be prepared to hear lots of yelling from coxswains. Not for the faint-hearted, the hairpin turn upstream from Paringa Place park will challenge many crews.  

Once successfully (or not) through the turn, crews should make their way back up the river parallel to the Brisbane Corso and Somerville House rowing shed.




On their way back up the river, crews must stay in their third of the river (as per the Brisbane River Code of Conduct 2011) along the Somerville reach and ensure that they pass the Red Rocks Marshal and the Red Rocks Buoy with both markers on their stroke side. As fatigue sets in, crews will find themselves back under Eleanor Schonell Bridge where the notorious Brisbane River swirls have been known to undo even the best of crews. Once clear of the bridge, it will be time to unleash the beast and make the dash for the finish line back at TRC.

We had a buzzer in the past, but the neighbours complained and it caused confusion with the start buzzer. Therefore, keep rowing until you can see the TRC pontoon on the other side of the bank. That will ensure you have actually crossed the finish line. Well done. 

Congratulate yourselves, and when safe to do so, paddle over to the Toowong Rowing Club pontoon where pontoon helpers will assist you in getting your oars and boat off the water. Cool down, change clothes if you brought them, and then head over to the Regatta Hotel's coffee van for food and drinks or grab something stronger from the TRC function centre bar. 

Fingers crossed you'll score a medal.