My First Regatta
What to expect at your First Regatta
So you're looking to attend your first regatta. This document will go over the basics of what to expect and so things are less of a surprise. Your coach is also able to help explain these things more if something doesn't make sense.
What is a regatta?
Starting off with the obvious, a regatta is an event consisting of many different boat races. Within Canoe kayak Canada, the governing body for paddling, there are 3 typical distances raced, 200m, 500m and 1000m. Athletes of different ages race different amounts of each, typically the younger athletes race more of the shorter distances. There is also a long distance race for each age category as well over 1000m. Older age groups racing further than the young ones.
What are the Venues like?
Like most sporting arenas each race course provides a different setting to race in with its own unique challenges and quirks. Common elements would be the various starting lines, all with the same finish line for accurate judging. Docks or beaches for boats to be launched at, as well as a viewing area of the finish line. As well as the race course itself.
What to expect?
Athletes typically enter a maximum of 8 events each possibly consisting of heats, semi finals and finals, depending on the number of athletes enter that particular event. These races will be spaced out over the whole event. Each host club uses a different order of events and so most regattas are unique.
What to bring?
Since each event takes place in different locations and time of year athletes should always come prepared for the weather at each event. Aside from the challenges that the weather brings athletes should bring multiple changes of clothes to always remain as dry as possible at the event. Equipment will be loaded before leaving, athletes are responsible for getting their paddles and boats loaded onto the trailer before it leaves. Athletes are also usually required to wear club singlets to help identify them to the officials while on the water. Singles are usually for sale, or renting.
Safety and Chaperoning
Multiple coaches attend each event to help ensure athletes are making it to their races on time and assisting with race preparation and execution. Parent volunteers are also in attendance helping with meals and chaperoning at the accommodations. As well as ensuring the safety of all the athletes during the trip.
Typically organized by the host club, there are other officials and regatta volunteers around each event able to offer a hand to anyone in need. As well as other parents, athletes, and coaches from other clubs.