Okay, so it’s your first regatta. You many be wondering what to pack and what to expect. Here are a few tips.
- Layers of clothing (for you and your rower). Many regattas run from early morning to late afternoon, and you’ll want to plan ahead for changing temps. In the fall and spring, early mornings can be bone chilling, so packing hats and gloves is a good idea.
- Sturdy footwear. Do not wear shoes that can’t get dirty, wet or muddy. You will be walking– to and from the parking area, to find a great viewing spot, and/or to check out the team camp or regatta venue. Comfortable walking shoes, boots, trainers, etc. are your best bet. Rain boots are a good idea for the “mushier” venues.
- Sun protection (for you and your rower). Warm weather or cold, you’ll still be outside much of the day, sometimes in the open without shade. Sunscreen, hats, sunglasses-bring what you need to be safe.
- A portable chair. Many people bring blankets too, which can serve as a stretch out area for kids, or do double duty for warmth on a cold day.
- A plan for food and beverages. During the regattas, the food team prepares food for the rowers and coaches. Occasionally there are leftovers which are offered to families. You will want to either pack along snacks and beverages, or expect that someone in your party will make a food run at some point. Do bring water (the donated bottled water at the food tent is for rowers, coaches, and cooking needs.) If you drink coffee, bring a travel mug. The coffee brewed at the food tent is available for parents.
- Flexibility. Regattas do not usually run exactly as posted. Your rower’s event may be much later than scheduled, or sometimes much sooner if an event cancels (scratches.) Plan to be there well before your rower’s event time and to stay through finals (if that is part of the regatta) in case your rower qualifies. (ALL regatta event sheets say the words: Subject to change!)
- An open mind and maybe some hand sanitizer (if that’s your thing). There are porta-johns at all regattas. Plan accordingly.
- Camera. Plan for close-up photos at the tent and far shots on the water. Maybe contribute your photos to the team Facebook page.
- A pair of binoculars. Your rower’s time on the water may happen on the other side of the river, so binoculars are a great tool.
- Entertainment. Books, homework, cards, bring whatever you and your family need to while away the down time.
- Loud things. When EGR boats go by, we’ll be making as much noise as possible. Bring your cowbells, noisemakers, loud voices and enthusiasm.