6:45 AM06:45



Join Chicago Rowing Foundation and the Chicago Park District as we host our annual ROWtoberfest head race and fall festival. This USRowing sanctioned 4K head race from the Cortland Bridge to the WMS Boathouse at Clark Park is open to high school, collegiate and Master rowers. An exhibition middle school race will take place from the Addison Street bridge to the boathouse. Electronic timing is provided by Herenow for up-to-the-minute results. Medals will be awarded in each event for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. A viewing lounge and Biergarten will provide a live feed from the race course so you can see the race from different points on the Chicago River.

The WMS Boathouse at Clark Park Location

  • ROWtoberfest takes place on the north branch of the Chicago River

  • Racing will be held between Cortland St and Webster Ave to the WMS Boathouse. The formal address is 3400 N. Rockwell St., Chicago, IL 60618

Pre-regatta Preparation


  • RSVP for the event “ROWtoberfest” on TeamSnap (via All Members) so that you will receive the messages that are sent out during the live event. If you don't rsvp you won't get the updates and messages! (Even if you are not competing, but are coming to watch, rsvp so that you can stay in the loop.) When you rsvp, please be sure to select some items from the “Assignment” list for the team to use and consume during the regatta.

  • BE at your normal practice time to de-rig boats and load the trailer; extra hands are always welcome. We will be de-rigging and loading all week to make it manageable.

Day of Regatta Preparation

Be prepared for unpredictable weather - anything can happen! Check your favorite weather app before leaving home to make sure you are prepared and comfortable for any situation. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than sitting on the side of a river dressed all wrong! Bring an extra jacket, blanket, and hat even if you don’t think you’ll need it…someone else might. Pack an extra outfit to change into. While rare, it does happen that an athlete falls in the water. You’ll be thankful for dry undies on the ride home!

Allow plenty of time to get to the venue and to park, especially if it is your first time there. Coordinating with teammates to ride together is the best option so that there are fewer cars to park and so that no one has to go alone. The walk to the competition site is often long. Be prepared! Inevitably it will be dusty or muddy so wear appropriate shoes. Expect the unexpected!

What to Pack

  • Dress for the weather; consider the season; remember temperatures can vary as the day progresses; think layers!

  • Hot Hands – hand warmers

  • Chair or blanket to sit on

  • Umbrella and/or raincoat

  • Binoculars

  • Something to pass the time (phones, books, cards, etc., backup phone charger)

  • Water bottle

  • Sunscreen

  • Bug spray

  • Chapstick

  • Hand Sanitizer

  • Cash or debit/credit card; there are usually food and regatta gear tents

  • Warm-ups to wear while not racing

  • Layers for racing

  • Hat/visor or bandana

  • Sunglasses/glasses/contacts and solution

  • Uni or gray CRU shirt and black trou to compete in

  • Slip-on shoes to wear while walking to the dock for your race; you have less than a minute to get off and on the dock; the dockmaster will not patiently wait for you to untie/tie your shoes

  • Socks (3-4 pair)

  • Bags for wet clothing

  • Changes of clothes in case you get soaked, as well as to go home in (packed in Ziplock bags to keep them dry if the ground/bag gets wet)

Parking for Spectators

  • Event parking is available at DeVry University Chicago parking lot, access off of Rockwell Street at 3300 North Rockwell or 3300 North Campbell.

  • Overflow parking is available at Lane Tech College Prep High School (2501 West Addison Street) with parking lot access south of Addison on Western Avenue.

For maps, line-ups, participant responsibilities, you MUST READ THE FOLLOWING DOCUMENT

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Tough Cup Regatta
6:00 AM06:00

Tough Cup Regatta

Established in 2012, the Tough Cup pits the best crews in the Chicagoland area against one another to claim the title of toughest crew team on the river!

Racing in eights, coxed fours, and quads – this 5k head race takes participants from Kedzie Ave Bridge to Halsted Ave.

The rare boat-level view of the industrial part of the city is an eye-opening experience for the rowers and a great opportunity to race in-state.

The purpose of the Tough Cup is to bring the Chicago Rowing Community together and help support the further development of Chicago’s waterways for positive recreation and use.  Since 2009 Chicago Training Center has used the south branch of the Chicago River System to train its participants and this regatta allows us to highlight the daily training path we follow.

For all CRU participants, click here for important details.

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