Regatta Guide for Parents
a collection of tips and strategies to have the best and useful experience at a regatta
Leave early and plan to stay all day Regattas are an all day event.
One of the best way to learn about rowing and show support to your athlete is to attend a regatta. Usually , races are spread throughout the day with all sorts of activities in between. Rowers will need to unload the trailer, rig the boats, race, cheer each other, race again, eat a lot of food, de-rig the boats and load the trailer.
Directions and Parking
Look for the location and address of each regatta on the website at the calendar section. the earlier you leave, the closer you ‘ll have a chance to park, and often fees are collected so remember to take cash with you. Park in the designated areas or you will receive a ticket or be towed
At the regatta:
As you walk around, be aware of boats being moved. It is a constant ballet of 40 ft rowing shells with 3 ft of metal rigging sticking out on both side of the boat. These boats weight a lot and they can’t dodge you.
Be ready for any weather condition
As a regatta last for the most part of the day, you may encounter all kinds of weather, from cold and windy in the morning to hot and sunny in the afternoon, or rain could decide to make an appearance. Take plenty of layers, bring a hat and a good pair of sunglasses as the glare off of the water can be difficult sometimes. Sunscreen is also recommended.
How to watch the races.
look for the races schedule that will be posted near our tent. make yourself familiar with the way the races will be posted ( see below) or ask another parent to start a conversation. every races is set to start at a particular time but more often than not and for many reasons (weather, etc..) , the races will run a little late so be patient.
Other items to bring along
Binoculars. it will be very difficult to tell which boat is which otherwise. Camera. it is very difficult to take pictures of the rowers during their races unless you have a fantastic telephoto lens but there is always some great shots to take while the rowers are hanging out or moving boats. and remember to share your great shots with the club. A great picture goes a long way to recruit new athletes. Camp chairs: you may even want to bring a warm blanket for a really cold, windy day. You could just “have it with you” and offer it to your rower, because , they will most likely, have refused to bring it with them when you suggested it at home. Bring whatever you will be comfortable with.
What else can you do during a regatta.
The best way to pass the time is to volunteer and socialize with other parents. We always need help with the setup and “tear- down” of the tents, carrying items from the cars to the chosen spot for the team, running errands. Or you can finally finish that book you’ve been reading for a few months. Most large regattas will sell T-shirts and all sorts of rowing related items and they make great souvenirs for the rowers. another great reason to bring cash as many vendors will not take cards.
We have two 10’x10’ pop up tents which shelter the food tables and our rowers. It is a very nice place to hang out, ask questions, have some coffee/food, stay away from the sun and cheer on the rowers, or even, just lay down on a hammock. Sometimes there are other areas where you can see better (depending on the venue.) All the information can be overwhelming at first, but you will learn quickly, and you will find yourself becoming amazed at the organization and support that the parents give to the rowers. We hope that you will find it exciting and would want to be part of it
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