Regatta Survival Tips
A collection of tips and strategies for having the best experience
Go early and plan to stay all-day. Rowers/Coxswains are typically required to arrive two hours before their scheduled race time for rigging boats, race strategy & warm-up.
Parking is often limited at regatta sites so if you are scheduled to arrive at the beginning of a regatta, get there early. Bring cash for parking at some venues.
Be prepared to walk longer distances if you arrive later in the day. Some regattas do have police issuing parking tickets so pay attention to the signs. If you are transporting other rowers, you may have to stay all day as other rowers may be in races throughout the day.
Racers typically stay approximately 2 hours after their last race to de-rig boats, load the trailer and help clean up tents and equipment. This timeline varies by regatta and is at the discretion of the coaches.
Dress for everything:
Most regattas are generally casual events, so prepare the way you would for any sustained outdoor sporting event. No matter the time of year, a long regatta day can have all types of weather. The better you prepare, the more you’ll enjoy the day. Mornings are almost always very cool or cold and sometimes it’s a long day in the rain and wind. Take plenty of layers and warm socks. A change of clothes or shoes are often needed if it’s raining. There is often mud even without rain. Bring a hat and a good pair of sunglasses – if the sun does come out you’ll be looking at water and the reflection can be very strong. You can’t bring too many clothes (at least the first time).
The Parent (Team) Tent:
Spectator tents are typically positioned on or near the race-coarse. The parent tent provides a great opportunity to socialize and get to know other team parents during the long race days. EHT Crew Boosters will provide food through contributions from parents, for the athletes. We will need everyone's contribution to feed 100-200 people (athletes & parents) throughout the day so no one goes hungry. Just prior to a regatta, an e-mail sign-up will go out with suggested items/quantities.
See below for rest room information
How to watch the races:
We keep a white board in our tent to find race times. Your rower will walk with their boat down to the launch area about an hour before the race. During a Head Race, the next 45-60 minutes their boat will be off in the distance beyond what you can usually see. You will need binoculars to see the boats when they come down the course until the last 500 meters. Be sure to cheer them on as they do hear us from the boat! You will soon learn that taking pictures can be disappointing without a strong telephoto lens at some of the regattas where the kids are far away. Video cameras are also great to use as well, as the kids really like seeing their boat and can use the video as a learning tool as well.
What to do the rest of the day:
Regattas are almost always very long days. The best way to pass the time is to volunteer and socialize with other parents. We need help with set-up and tear down, with food prep and service and there is cleaning up as well. Sometimes parents are needed to run errands (pick up coffee, sandwiches, etc.). Bring a chair, a blanket and even a book or computer to pass the time. At some locations there are great trails and paths for walking or running.
Other things to know:
Most large regattas sell T-shirts and other rowing gear. If you’re interested, buy early as they run out of sizes by the afternoon. It’s good to bring extra cash with you for vendors and parking as there won’t be ATMs nearby.
Pack and load the car the night before. Help your rower prepare the first time but encourage them to be independent in their sport. Mark all their clothes, especially their unis, with their names. They should only carry one bag with their things – with lots of rowers it can get very chaotic and personal items often get lost. Many rowers bring homework to do during the time they’re not racing.
What to bring:
Uni and wrench
Team Hat and Team Jacket
Cold weather training top and bottom
Warm Hat & Gloves in Cool Weather for staying warm between races
Team sweats and Team sweatshirt
Slip-on/off shoes for docks
Waterproof shoes or boots
Dry clothes for after race
Socks – 3 or 4 pairs at least
Reusable Water Bottle- Filled with water
Homework, iPod, books, sunscreen
Money – for T-shirts or food
Blanket or sleeping bag
Plastic bag for putting your wet clothes in
Sunscreen and sunglasses
Rain gear (including an umbrella)
Layers of clothing
Comfortable walking shoes
Snacks, beverages, water bottle
Directions to the regatta
When will the schedules be released?
Schedules are typically released on Thursday of the week of the race. However there can be changes up to and including the morning of the race depending on if 1 or more boats drop out of a race for one reason or another.
What is the bathroom situation at the races?
At Lake Lenape, there are climate controlled bathrooms near our tent.
At Philadelphia, each team has their own assigned port-a-potty, the key will be in the food tent
At Camden, there is a group of port-a-pottys for everyone to share at the race.