Basel Head 100 boats racing 6.4 km


Biggest Head Race in German-speaking countries

The 9th Basel Head eights regatta will be held on the River Rhine in Switzerland’s Basel city centre on the 17th November 2018.

This race is the largest head race in the German speaking countries for years . More than 130 crews have entered the 2018 event, which is now established as one of the largest eights regattas in the world.

Basel Head is one of the great long-distance eights races– think of it as the Head of the River or the Head of the Charles in Switzerland, and attracts a high-quality international field. This is a encouraging change, and will transform the Rhine River in Basel’s city centre into a sports arena with 10,000 spectators.

Basel Head turns Basel into Sports Arena

In recent years the best crews in the world have competed in this event. No kidding: There were World and Olympic champions racing alongside club crews.

Last year, I met Thomas (Austria), Patrick (UK) and Volker (GER), three local rowers preparing for this event. Thomas is very excited about going back to race.

“The Basel head is a wonderful event. You have a local cozy atmosphere paired with a very professional organisation.  We, rowing in the Masters E Category.  I know the Deutschland Achter (German Eight) will finish way ahead of us – still we enjoy rowing through the beautiful scenery and the rowers party after the race will be amazing.” 

The event has two races:

Prelude “Sprint des Rois“

The “warm-up” event is a sprint race over 350 m at 10:30 am. The winners of this race will have the privilege of staying at the Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois directly beside the regatta course for the duration of the event the following year – that’s a prize worth winning.

The “Long distance classic ” over 6.4 km, starts at 14.00 hrs.

The long-distance eights race will be held over a 6.4 km course, with a demanding 180° turn at the halfway point. Last years winner was Germany I, the World Championship Gold medalists.

rowing technique, sweep technique, rowing recovery
Deutschland Achter: Photo Credit World Rowing

Patrick likes the atmosphere along the course.

“The race has around 10.000 people watching us. It is an enormous motivation for me as stroke listening to all these cheering visitors. It feels like we have a 9th oarsman in our boat!”

The race starts at the “Mittlere Brücke”. The oldest existing bridge at the Rhine River between Lake Constance and Rotterdam.

Eights racing the Basel Head, rowing race, head racing,
Eights racing the Basel Head. Photo Credit: Basel Journal

Interesting “factoid” for the crews: the Basel Head provides cash prizes for the winning boats. A great motivator for the clubs entering.

Further information may be found on the Basel Head Race Website. It looks like more than 100 crews from about ten countries have entered this year.

For boat rental options get in touch and send us an email. For Ergometer bookings in the warm up tent check with RP3 Rowing and with us (  

Email to Reserve Ergs for your crew



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