Head Race Timing

This site is about systems and methods for timing Head races.

A Head race is a time trial for rowing and sculling boats. Competitors start in order, race over the course while overtaking or being overtaken, and are ranked by elapsed time. The races typically take place in autumn and spring, and run over longer distances than the summer Regatta racing.

Timing needs to be accurate and reliable. Ideally it should also be prompt. However there are a few practical obstacles, and it is not as easy to achieve these aims as it may appear.

Timing Systems describes four benchmark timing systems. These are systems that achieve the aims in different ways:

  • stopwatch
  • timing device
  • video
  • photo finish.

Resources contains technical information about:

  • Accuracy of timing systems
  • Timing regulations and a suggested Code of Practice
  • How to do hand timing (i.e. not camera or chip timing) accurately
  • Why chip timing, and other forms of automatic timing, do not work for a Head race
  • A section on using a timing app on a tablet or phone

This site provides a personal view and a collection of relevant material for those interested in accurate timekeeping. If you would like to add something, or if you have a different view, please contact me.