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Australian Henley Regatta Course Map, Yarra River, Melbourne

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Boathouse Row, Melbourne


The Australian Henley Regatta is raced over 1600 metres on the Upper Yarra course across two lanes; so, in effect all events are conducted in a traditional "match" racing form. This mirrors the “one-on one” racing as conducted at the Henley Royal Regatta in England.

Racing is over 800 meters and 1600 meters. For the 1600 meter course the start line is about 100 metres upriver of Punt Road. Remember Punt Road didn’t exist back when the Australian Henley Regatta commenced….. The finish line is at the Judges Box some 400 meters downriver of Swan Street Bridge (the most recent construction on the course).

The two lanes on the Upper Yarra course that are used for the contemporary running of the Australian Henley Regatta are the Centre and South (South Yarra side) Stations.

The following are some pointers, some the extremely obvious, and some derived from a knowledge of the major landmarks to navigate, i.e. bridges, the nature of the ebb and flow of the Yarra River and, arguably, most importantly, the profile of the underwater structure of the Yarra River bed. All of this needs to be considered by scullers, crews and coxswains as they race, hopefully efficiently and, as directly as possible, all other things taken on board, in either Centre or South Stations in their quest for success!

The Start (100m above Punt Road)

There may be stream (outflow) or tail/head wind pushing either Station around or possibly down the course.

Centre Station

Possibly stream or Head or Tail wind which can be strong and more effect on Centre Station. Stay Straight. If told to “check it” make sure you are ready to go with some light pressure on face of the blade.

South Station (South Yarra Side)

Make sure you touch up to stay level with crew in Centre. Make sure you are ready at all times as Starter may give a “quick” start. Stay straight.

Buoys around Punt Road to Morrell Bridge corner

There will be two set of buoys guiding crews around the first corner.

Centre Station

From Punt Rd to first set of buoys don’t go too wide, failing to start the corner early enough. Take a quick look at the buoys and stay to North side of the buoys. Should you need to, the buoys can pass under your stroke side oar or rigger but if bow goes to South of buoys then you will be penalised/disqualified.

South Station (South Yarra Side)

From Punt Rd to buoys don’t go too far South in quest to cut the corner. The water is shallow and slowwww.

Morrell Bridge

Bult in 1899 by John Monash

Centre Station

Go through Centre Arch. Aim to get close to Centre/South Pillar and you will be good. Don’t hit it; that’s happened way too often. Don’t worry too much if South Station is ahead as they had first corner.

South Station (South Yarra Side)

Don’t get too close to river bank on the corner; it’s very very shallow under Morrell Bridge near the South bank river bank and if you hit ground you will be in big trouble. Stay relatively closer to the Centre/South pillar and you will be ok.

Coming out of Morrell Bridge to buoys on New Cut Corner

Line up early for buoys on New Cut Corner some 300 meters from Morrell Bridge.

Centre Station

Have a look. Get your bearings and row straight to the North of the first buoy separating Centre/South lanes. Aim to stay more to the North river bank to take your advantage of your corner but avoid cutting the corner too much as the water close to the North bank is well out of the stream and is “dead”. Use the stream.

South Station (South Yarra Side)

Have a look. Get your bearings and row straight for the first buoy on New Cut Corner (i.e. the next corner). Aim to ensure the first buoy is near to your bow side blade/s. Be wary about going too far South as this will give lengths away and is a trap for the inexperienced. Once on this “too far southward” path it is hard to correct.

New Cut Corner to Swan Street Bridge

Set your line for your arch on Swan Street Bridge. Since the excavations were done for the Burnley tunnel under the Yarra the river seems to push crews towards the South side of the river. Sort this out early and be wary of this are you will be ok.

Centre Station

Coming out of the buoys have a look and line up your arch (Centre). Be wary you don’t get pushed to the South by the stream.

South Station (South Yarra Side)

Coming out of the buoys have a look and line up your arch (South). Big risk is drifting to the South bank coming out of the buoys. Do not follow the river bank as it curves much wider of the South racing course over this stretch of the river.

Swan Street to Judges Box

It’s all straight from here to the line. Take a line off the bridge and take the shortest line home. It’s about 400m so will take some strokes and time. Go for it.

Centre Station

Centre will have good water here, possibly stream, maybe head or tail wind but it’s essential to stay in the deep water of Centre Station here to the line.

South Station (South Yarra Side)

South Station will also have good water here as it’s relatively deep near the Henley staging. It can drift a tiny bit to Centre/South Station without impeding crews on Centre, while holding a straight line to finish.

Download PDF of these pointers:

Steering the Henly Course

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