*** Please refer to Home page or Calendar/Events link above for Regatta Schedule. Fall Regatttas are in Sept/Oct and Spring Regattas are in April/May ***
NOTE: You can obtain details for individual regattas by clicking on a specific date.
How to enjoy a Crew Regatta
Before the Regatta…….
During the season www.weather.com is your friend! It is great as you can check the forecast in advance and get the hour to hour details which will help you in packing the appropriate clothes.
What to pack: Even if the weather channel calls for great weather, the temperature by and on the water can be very different. Be prepared!
- Folding chairs
- Layers of clothes
- Reading material
For the Rowers:
- Sleeping Bags (one per rower)
- Boots – many sites get very muddy!!
- A towel
- Plastic Bags for wet clothes
- Extra food (even though the team stocks up and there is plenty, if your rower likes a certain sports drink or energy bar you will want to bring it).
- Water Bottles
- Hats/Gloves in the Fall/early spring
- Extra clothes including a pair of dry socks for each race, clothes to change into afterwards. Some like to wear wool socks.
- Hat to keep the sun off in the Spring/early Fall
- Long/Short sleeve shirt to fit under tank or uni
- Sweat Pants
Sometimes packing all of the “stuff” in a laundry basket keeps things portable and compact.
Snacks for traveling home – your rower is usually starving at the end!
Be sure that your rower’s clothing is labeled. Remember, everyone has the same team sweatshirt and many items get left behind.
Print off heat sheets before you go! For most races these can be found on www.regattacentral.com click on the event and then on the tab on the left labeled “heat sheet” a few days before the regatta. Highlight your team’s/rower’s races. Some regattas will sell them for $2 or $3 at the site, but they go fast.
Be sure to print off directions and important phone numbers like the other drivers prior to leaving!
The night before the regatta,
set at least two alarms!! If you stay in a hotel, ask for a wake up call, but also set at least one back up!!! I have had the experience where we asked for a wake up call, and they forgot. If we hadn’t set an extra alarm we would have been late (does not make for happy rowers or coaches)!
Arriving at the regatta…..
Plan to arrive early! This will help you get a good parking spot and your rower has alot to do before the first race of the day, even if they don’t race until noon!
It is best to just let your rower go once you are parked and let them find their teammates. Again they have a lot to do.
Once you do arrive, you may not see or talk to your rower much that day. This is OK!! They are under the watchful eyes of the coaches and captains. Again, they have many responsibilities, besides racing, including rigging/de-rigging, dock support and cheering on their team. If they are busy, that means they are being a good teammate!
Plan to stay ALL DAY!!! Racing usually starts at 8:00am and doesn’t end until around 5pm. This is dependent on many factors, including number of teams, races, heats, and weather. Regattas rarely run right on time. ALL team members are required to stay for the ENTIRE regatta, and are not dismissed until the Coaches have dismissed the whole team!
*If you think that you have a conflict and your rower may have to leave early, please let the coaches know at least a week in advance. Entries for most regattas have to be in a week before the race, and changes are not usually permitted. A rower leaving early or not attending could mean that 4 or 8 other rowers may not race!!
The team has several tents. The big yellow tent is generally reserved for the rowers. Little siblings are usually welcomed as well. This is where they put their gear, sit and relax and be a team.
There are food tents manned by parent volunteers. All members of the team, including family members are welcome to eat. There is usually a wonderful assortment of breakfast, lunch and snack items available, as well as Gatorade, water and hot chocolate.
Parents usually hang out here and then get closer to the water to watch their rower. This is a great place to meet new friends!
Watching the regatta……..
During the Fall season: These are called “Head Races.” Races are longer (similar to Cross Country), usually 2.5 to 3 miles long. Boats are started in approximately 30 second intervals. Depending on the course, you may only get to see a very small portion of your rower’s race. And, you will not have any idea on how they did until the end of the day. You can watch their “bow number” and see where they are in relation to the other boats, but it is still difficult to figure out really how they did until the results are posted on the board.
Spring Season: These are called “Sprints”. The course is usually 1500 or 2000 meters long. That is one of the reasons they do all of those lovely “2Ks” in winter training. These are easier, in many ways, to watch as it is true head to head competition. This is where the binoculars come in handy! Also our oar colors are black or yellow. Many parents look at the oars to see if they are our boats.
After you watch your rower’s race, as happy and proud as you are, don’t approach them. When ready and able they will come to you. – Really they will! After they get off the water, they immediately have a boat meeting with the Coaches. This is a no parent zone! (Same goes for the boat meeting right before their race). The rower will then go get food and use the bathroom and then may find you. But if they don’t remember, it is ok!
Other “No parent Zones”:
- On the Docks – This is an extremely busy place.
- Rigging/De-rigging boats – The rowers are very busy during these times and the equipment is large and expensive!
Taking pictures: It is often hard to take good clear pictures as the boats are large and moving fast, but taking pictures is strongly encouraged! Your best opportunity to take pictures is when they are leaving or returning to the docks, Loading the boat, or getting the boats ready to race. Candids are great! If you do take pictures talk to a Board Member. The team gathers as many photos as possible during the season to use for newspaper articles, the end of the season video and we usually hand out a cd-rom with all of the pictures we can gather at the banquet!
Cheering for your rower: They say they can’t hear us, but cheer loud anyway!!!! As they approach!
T-shirts: Every regatta has a t-shirt for sale. This will usually cost between $15 - $25. These are nice and good mementos of the season. Often parents have keepsake quilts made out of the shirts when their rower graduates. Some regattas also sell rowing jewelry. These make great gifts!
At the end of the regatta……..
Take a few moments to make sure your rower has everything, sweats, shirts, hats etc.!!!
Help take down the tents and pack up the food trailer.
Most rowers sleep on the way home! Make sure you can stay awake for the drive.
Most importantly! Congratulate your rower on a great day!!! No matter the outcome!!
Finally, ENJOY every minute of watching your child/children participate in a truly unique sport! It is worth the early starts, long days and ever changing weather. It will too soon be the last race of their Senior Season, and you will wonder where did it go? The lessons they learn as part of the team will serve them well beyond high school!
Row Hard Hornets!!