Mark your calendars! Homecoming, 2016 will be on Saturday, October 29th. As with previous years, there will be some manner of revelry on the Friday night beforehand followed by a day of racing, a picnic, and still more revelry. Unlike previous years, we've got a fairly significant milestone to celebrate. Twenty years of Racer Rowing--that's right! Our little club has crossed the 2-decade mark! In addition to the usual "business," the Editorial Staff of The Racer Rowing Society hope to do something special--not only to commemorate the accomplishments of our shared past, but to set an agenda for the next twenty years. Through our continued love and commitment within this extended "rowing family," certainly we can use this weekend's event to set things in motion to accomplish something significant by 2036, right? Let's make big plans!

Please keep in regular touch with the club via Facebook and Twitter. Please seek out and invite friends and former teammates to stay in touch and make plans to catch up this year. If you would like to volunteer time and resources to help make our 20th anniversary all that much more special, please contact the Racer Rowing Society Editorial Staff to make your intentions known.

This page will be updated to include more information about this year's event later. In the meantime, here is a preview of this year's new and improved rules for our Alumni vs. Varsity race.

Entry and Eligibility

  1. Must be a current Murray State University student or alumni.
  2. Must be a current member of Racer Rowing; or a former member in good standing.
  3. Updated for 2016--Only alumni may compete in an alumni boat (except under the circumstances provided in rule #3 for the Mixed 8+).
  4. Varsity or novice rowers may compete in a varsity boat; however, once a novice rower competes as varsity he or she must compete as varsity for the remainder of the day.
  5. If any varsity rowers are in a boat, the boat will be considered varsity; a boat is only considered novice if every participant (including the coxswain) has rowed for less than two seasons (i.e. Fall + Spring).


  1. The Greatest Rower of All Time 5K Erg Test (Friday evening; Alumni Only)
  2. Decade Cup Stake Boat Races (Mixed 8+ 250m)
  3. Women's Open 8+ 500m
  4. Men's Open 8+ 500m

Updated for 2016--The Greatest Rower of All Time 5K Erg Test: Race Rules

  1. Fans will be set to whatever setting is recommended by Varsity team captains; this must be the same setting for all competitors. 
  2. Each competitor will get only one attempt to row the fastest time in a 5K erg test.
  3. Competitors will have to follow whatever rules the current team observes during erg tests in the William McClean Erg Room--for OG Epoch I rowers, this mostly means, keep the grunting and shouting down (a welcome change for some of us, though one that's a little disorienting if you were brought into rowing at MSU in the 90s--when we would scream at each other during erg tests).
  4. The Greatest Rower of All Time trophies will be awarded to the top male and female competitor. The trophy will contain a prize in its secret compartment that shall be distributed to runner-up competitors at the discretion of the winner. 
  5. It shall be the winners' responsibility to "recharge" the prize compartment of the Greatest Rower of All Time trophies for the following year's contest. 

New for 2016--Mixed 8+ 500m: Rules for The Race for the DECADE CUP

  1. This event shall only be held only once every ten years. The prize for this event is the hereforto unseen DECADE CUP--a mysterious artifact of unthinkable beauty and power. This event is primarily intended to be a matchup of Alumni Boats. Alumni Boats may be organized by Generation or Epoch (four year intervals; e.g., Epoch I is made up of rowers who started rowing between the years of 1996 and 2000), depending on attendance at the event.
  2. At least four rowers in each boat must be female. 
  3. Varsity and novice rowers may be substituted for missing Alumni on the condition that for the remainder of the Homecoming weekend (and possibly the season), they take on the full name, personality, and major of the specific Alumnus for whom they are surrogating.
  4. This will be a multi-heat, elimination tournament pitting 8s against each other in 250m Stake Boat races.
  5. Upon being awarded the DECADE CUP, all attendees must--in haunting unison--read to the victorious squad, the poem Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelly:

    I met a traveler from an antique land, 
    Who said—“Two vast and trunkless legs of stone 
    Stand in the desert. . . . Near them, on the sand, 
    Half sunk a shattered visage lies, whose frown, 
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command, 
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read 
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, 
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; 
    And on the pedestal, these words appear: 
    My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings; 
    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! 
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay 
    Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare 
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.” 

Women's and Men's Open 8+: Race Rules

  1. Updated for 2016--There will be 1 heat for events 2 & 3 (Women's Open 8+ 500m and Men's Open 8+ 500m). The team (i.e., Alumni, Varsity, or Novice) that wins the most heats, wins the event. In the unlikely event of a three way tie, the Homecoming Cup and all of its contents must be thrown into Kentucky Lake by the grand Marshall. It shall then be the responsibility of the Novice Team to create a new and improved Homecoming Cup to be used the following year. This will mark the end of this year's homecoming celebration; the picnic will be canceled and there will be no further revelry.
  2. Updated for 2016--If by the end of the first two events no one team has won the day (e.g., the Women's Varsity wins event #1 and the Men's Alumni win event #2), the tie must be settled by a foot race. The starting line shall be based on the sign in front of the boathouse. The finish line shall be the boat ramp at Cherokee Park. The first person to run into the water from the boat ramp shall claim the Homecoming Cup for his or her squad. 
  3. Updated for 2016--The Original Teams Rule—If any heat is won by a boat consisting entirely of alumni that all rowed together as varsity (including the coxswain), the Alumni become the undisputed winners of The Homecoming Cup. The victory will be recorded on the trophy specifying the earliest year of the original team. A photo of the original team at a race, from the year they rowed together, may  will be required as proof that a squad qualifies as winners under this rule. Additionally, the photograph of the winning team must be displayed in a place of prominence within both the Boathouse and the William McClean Erg Room along with the motto, "Old age and treachery will always beat youth and exuberance."
  4. Updated for 2016--You-Are-Only-Here-Because-Of-Us Rule—In the event of a Novice or Varsity victory on the water, Alumni will have the opportunity to claim victory if all Alumni in attendance make a nominal donation totaling a minimal amount set by the Director of Rowing. If no less than $1,000,000 is donated to the team by the Alumni collectively; an Alumnus, or his/her proxy. Under this rule, the actual winner of the race on the water will be recorded on the trophy. However, an asterisk will be included in the record signifying that the Alumni paid for the technical win and that Racer Rowing gratefully accepted our money. The Racer Rowing Society seal must remain on the outside of the Homecoming Cup reliquary; the Tri Rho seal must remain on the inside of the Homecoming Cup  reliquary for the remainder of the year.
  5. Back for 2016--Head of The Hooch Dream Team Rule--If a heat is won by a boat consisting entirely of Alumni who rowed in the 2015 Head of the Hooch (or Alumni  who are committed to row in the 2016 Head of the Hooch), the Alumni become the undisputed winners of the Homecoming Cup--only on the condition that the entire alumni boat then returns to compete at Head of The Hooch this year.  
  6. Generation XI Rule--This rule commemorates the Novice's victory in the 2006 Race for the Homecoming Cup-- the first and (currently) only time novices were awarded the coveted trophy. In this contest, Novices were allowed a 20m head start at the beginning of each heat. While not replicating the exact advantage afforded the 2006 team, this rule will henceforth allow Novices a 10 stroke head start in the first heat of events #1 and #2. This rule will not apply to second and third heats of events #1 and #2. 
  7. Our Legacy is Awesome Rule--If a novice boat wins in any heat and has at least one member who is a relative of a Murray State Alumnus--who rowed Varsity--the novices shall become the undisputed winners of the Homecoming Cup. While this rule is intended to apply to the children of Alumni, it can also be applied to siblings and first cousins. An additional exception will be allowed if the relative of a former coach rows as a novice. If the novices win the Homecoming Cup according to this rule, the victory will be recorded on the trophy specifying the name of the family member related to the novice rower who allowed his or her squad to qualify under this rule. 

Modifications to the Rules


All rules are tentative and subject to being finalized by the Director of Rowing and the Honorary Alumni Coach on the day before the event.  



A squad may dispute the outcome of any heat or event by writing their complaint on a 3x5 notecard and submitting it to former Racer Rowing Assistant Coach, Frank Swain. 

Come to Homecoming!


Make sure that you are Facebook Friends with The Racer Rowing Society. Follow Racer Rowing on Twitter @RacerRowing.

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