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Regatta FAQs

How do I know what time my rower's race is?

First, your rower's coach will tell them the approximate time they are expected to race. Times can move around depending on weather, logistics at the regatta, and other factors outside the coaches’ control – so be prepared to be flexible.
Second, most regattas have schedules and results available on websites like RegattaCentral or HereNow where you can access the schedule, and sometimes live results.  

WHY DO THE ROWERS NEED TO ARRIVE SO FAR IN ADVANCE FOR REGATTAS, AND WHY CAN'T THEY LEAVE WHEN THEY ARE FINISHED RACING?

Before a race, there is a lot to do, and we need every rower present to do their fair share. The athletes need to unload the boats, reattach the riggers, the part that sticks out from the side of the boat and contains the oar locks, then check over the boats and make sure everything is ready to go.

Before racing occurs the athletes will also have time to practice on the course, get final instructions from the coach and get into a racing frame of mind.

As the end of a regatta approaches, the athletes need to assist in removing the riggers, loading the boats and oars, and making sure we leave our area cleaner than when we arrived.  

The only time athletes should arrive late or leave early is when there is an unavoidable conflict, the coaches have been made aware of this (well in advance), and the coaches approved this deviation. This option should rarely be used, if ever.

How early should I get to a regatta to see my ROWER compete?

For away regattas, most people come with their rowers and spend the entire day. The coaches will tell them what time to arrive.  if you are coming separately to an away regatta, you will want to get there at least 30 minutes before your rower's scheduled start time. At some venues, parking can be difficult, and it may be quite a walk.   You can always come earlier and cheer on the rest of the TRC team!

WHAT SHOULD I BRING TO A REGATTA?

Regattas take a long time and you will most likely be there all day. Keep in mind that while a race is anywhere from 6 to 20 minutes, you will only see about 1 minute of the race in front of you! In cooler months, bring more layers than you think you need – you will be sitting there for a long time and it is easy to get cold. Check the weather and bring rain gear, if needed.  Bring whatever food and drink you would like to enjoy or money to purchase meals on site (when available). Most people bring folding chairs, binoculars, and cameras.  Some bring pop-up shelters to stay out of the sun (or rain). You may want to bring something to do (books, newspaper, work, etc.) since it can be a long time between races that include TRC boats. Some people bring bicycles to enjoy the venue and to follow along the race route. Don’t forget to wear your TRC team gear!

Are races ever canceled due to inclement weather?

Yes, but it is highly unusual. Generally, a regatta will proceed unless and until the officials determine that it is unsafe. Sometimes a decision will be made that it is not safe for novices, but is okay for more experienced rowers. We have all been at regattas in the rain and the cold – so remember, bring clothes appropriate to the weather and bring more layers than you think you will need.

How do I know if my ROWER is going to compete in the regatta?

First, not all teams, and not all boats within teams, go to all regattas. Some regattas are for everyone, and some are by selection or qualification only. This is indicated on the schedule. Second, only a certain number of boats will be entered in regattas. The coaches are trying to put together the strongest boats that they can and may be working on the line‐ups until a few days before the race. They will let your rower know as soon as possible.

What is the difference between first, second, and third boats?

The first boat (often called V1) is made up of the eight rowers (and the coxswain) that the coaches believe can together row faster than any other potential combination. The second boat (V2) is made up of eight rowers out of the remaining rowers that can row fastest together. The third boat (V3) is the next eight.

Is there a junior varsity (JV) boat?

Junior varsity is not really a common term in rowing.  At the high school level, the novice teams are made up of boys and girls new to rowing. After their first year of rowing, a rower will move up to varsity. Sometimes, people will refer to the second and third varsity boats as JV, but that is not really common.

My rower is in the second boat but has a better erg time than a kid in the first boat. Why? It doesn’t seem fair.

Erg score is only one of the considerations that a coach uses to determine the line‐up in a boat. In order to be good, a rower needs not only strength and stamina but good balance and the ability to move in unison with his or her teammates. Superior strength can make up for some weakness in form; the ability to follow the movements of teammates can make up for some degree of lesser strength – the ability to consider the strengths and weaknesses of
each rower and put together the fastest boat possible is one of the core jobs of the coaches.

Additionally, the coaches are looking for kids that they and the rower's teammates can depend on. A rower who misses practices or slacks off during practice may not get placed as highly as their skill level would otherwise warrant.

Is it okay to go over to the boat trailer to wish my rower and the team good luck?

In general, no. The rowers and the coaches are busy before the race and the area around the trailer is generally very crowded. Although you stopping by will only take a few seconds, there are eight other rowers on that boat and several other boats – a parade of well‐meaning parents is not really helpful. Also, the same applies to congratulating the rowers after a race – the rowers will generally find you as soon as they are through with the post‐race activities.

The boats are really far away – how can I tell which ones are TRC boats? 

If you printed out the heat sheet from the regatta website prior to the race, or you have the schedule on your phone, you can check a specific race to see which lane TRC is in. If you don't have that info there is usually a parent around who has it and will be happy to let you know. 

Second, every rowing team has their oars painted in a unique way and wears a unique team uniform. Generally, these designs can be seen from fairly far away. 

I can’t really tell who’s ahead ‐  how can I tell whether they are doing well?

This is one of the real challenges in being a rowing spectator. Binoculars will help, choosing a landmark on the opposite shore and trying to see who passes it when can help.  If there are lane marker buoys you should be able to look directly perpendicular to the course and see where the buoys line up.

Some parents will move farther down the race course toward the finish line. And remember – the races are long, so the boat that is ahead early or midway through the race may not be leading by the time they get to the finish line.

One parent explained it like this, “If they look like they are not working that hard and you don’t see a lot of extra motion or splashing, they are probably doing well. If it looks like they are working really hard, aren’t moving together and you see a lot of splashing – they are probably having a rough day.”

Should I yell out my ROWER's name when they go past?

Probably not, unless your rower is in a single.  Rowing is a team sport and the kids learn to take pride in their accomplishments as a team. Generally, there will be bunches of TRC parents, siblings, grandparents, and friends in groups along the shoreline, screaming, “GO TRC,” or “T-R-C". We all cheer for all the rowers, the goal is to be the loudest cheering section at the regatta!