Please note that the Coach’s & Coxswains are responsible for all information given out at the C&C Meeting.  That meeting will take place at 6:30am (Saturday) and 6:15am on (Sunday).  These notes were designed as a reference point for Coxswains, and are quite thorough.  However, any last minute information given at the C&C Mtg. is something you still need to know.  This year’s regatta is massive – and does not have the space (shore or water) that the HoCharles has.  It will take all of us to make things work smoothly, and on time.

Before you launch, make sure you know your bow number, have an accurate watch and have brought any tools you might need to make adjustments to equipment on the water.  It is your responsibility to get your boat to the starting line in working condition in time for your race.  Start Marshals do not carry tools and cannot always remind you of your race time.

[1] Docking Out:  Events are called to the dock 40’ (minutes) before your race.  For the larger events, please note that we will call in 20-25 boat increments.  This helps ensure that the boats arrive at the start more in bow # order.  Please, don’t come early.  Also, if there is a boat with a bow # before yours, please let them dock out first.  We are launching over 1000 boats per day this year.  Please help us/you with the following:

  • ·        Have oars down to the docks before you get hands-on the boat.
  • ·        Have oarlocks undone, have a secure bow ball, make sure your heel-ties are in place.
  • ·        Keep ALL unnecessary people out of the docking area.  NO parents, friends, etc.  Just 1 coach and the lineup.
  • ·        Have your shoe bag ready/filled so your coach can take it with him/her back to the trailer.  Nothing            left on the docks. 
  • ·        Know your Event, time of race, bow # & be familiar with the race course map/instructions.
  • ·        Know which dock you are coming BACK to once the race is over.
  • ·        Come to the dock BOW first.  If this changes, you will be told so at the C&C meeting.

  [2] Rowing to the Start:

  • ·        Do NOT hug the shoreline.  There is plenty of space to row up (except around the “S” turn.
  • ·        You can NEVER cross the buoy line.  If you do, it is grounds for exclusion
  • ·        Single File going to the Start around the “S” turn.  The boats in the racing lane are thinking about racing, not the boats coming up at them.  If you have to row by ‘6’s, please do.  No power strokes around that turn.
  • ·        As you come around the “S” turn heading to the starting line, you will see this:

 

         Please go through the right-hand arch.  There is construction on the bridge.  Do not go near the buoys or the    scaffolding in the center.  The other arch is the racing lane.

As you go under the bridge, keep moving with caution and stay out of the race line.  Don’t take a power-ten here; but do not stop here either.

As you pass the first Start Marshal on your port side, continue moving but start looking at the bow numbers of the boats lined up in the race lane.  If you see numbers near yours, move to port and listen for instructions from one of the Start Marshal to safely enter the race lane so you can line up in with bow numbers close to yours.  If the bow numbers are much lower than yours, stay to starboard and keep rowing to the next Start Marshal.

Line up in the race lane by sequential bow numbers, overlapping boats.  Keep moving toward the start with bow numbers near yours, adjusting your position to get-and stay- in numerical order.  Your goal is to be in the race lane, next to the Start Marshal closest to the start, at the time your race is scheduled to start.

As boats ahead of you start the race, you should take a few strokes and move into their spot.  Your goal is to be sitting “At the Ready” next to the Start Marshal, who will put you on the paddle when it is your turn.  The Start Marshal will start the lowest number boat that has a clear shot to the starting line, so you need to always make sure you maintain your boat in numerical order to keep your seeded position.

The actual Starting line is about 150-175 meters from the Bridge as you pass under it.  There may be weeds off your starboard side, so please avoid going too far that way.  The actual starting line looks like this:

 

The Race Official will build you to full-pressure before you go through those 2 white buoys.  (picture taken from the bridge looking back at the starting line).  Do not attempt to pass the crew ahead of you until after you pass under the bridge.  The timers are on your Starboard, so please do NOT block their view of the line between them and the white buoys.  Once you row past the starting line, you will see this:

 

As you pass that little shack with the red roof, off to your port side, you will see boats beginning to increase pressure as they approach the starting line.  Keep rowing past and begin looking for your place in line.  When you find it, slide in there.  If someone behind you has a lower bow #, let them go in front of you.  Notice how the creek bends here.  About 200 meters past this point is the end of the buoy line.  There is another bay beyond this bend.  You may NOT go beyond that last bay.  The big, orange buoys separate the row up/down lanes.  When you are about to turn into your place, please do so quickly.  Here is the view of that last bay:

 

When you have turned into your place, you will begin moving to the Starting Line.  Pay attention, keep your crew quiet and ready to respond, keep your boat straight.  Also, before you enter the starting chute – check your skeg one last time to be sure (it’s there) and that there are no weeds on it.

[3] Approaching the Starting Line:

 

 

It is important to follow instructions at the Starting Line.  If the day is windy, getting everyone lined up is very difficult.  It also makes it more difficult to hear words from the launch.  If it is cold, try to keep your crews moving as much as possible.  (It will be very cold in the mornings – make sure they all DRESS WARMLY)  The Marshals are not yelling at you because they hate you.  They simply need you to comply and help get things organized.  Those guys will be working a 10 hour day in order to get you racing, please help them.

As you approach the Starting Line, be aware how many crews are in front of you and where the start of the chute is.  As your turn approaches, please keep moving your boat forward as the next boat begins the race.  When your turn is next, and the boat in front of you begins to build pressure towards the starting line…..Count to 5 slowly…..then begin to build pressure in your boat towards the Starting Line.  You should be FULL pressure as you go BETWEEN those 2, white buoys.

Here is the view from the Starting Line as you approach the first bridge:

 

Obviously, you will be taking the arch on the right in this picture.  The other Arch is for the boats rowing up to the Start.  Again, notice the buoys surrounding the scaffolding.  There is plenty of room under the arch to go through.  Along the right side (coxswains’) it is rocky – so please do not hug the shore there.  Immediately after the Bridge, on your Starboard side, is Skidmore’s Boathouse and docks.  They will be launching from here all day Saturday.  Please be aware of this.  About 3-4 Minutes after going through the bridge, you will come upon the “S” Turn.  It is the only turn on the course.  Please be careful rowing in both directions.   Crews will be DQ’d from the regatta if they cross the buoyed line – in either direction.  Faster crews have the right of way, and must make their line/intentions known.  The overtaken crew should/must yield the path to the faster crew.  However, the Faster crew MUST give them time to move out of the way & cannot drive the slower crew through the buoy line (or) into the shoreline.  The Chief Judge Referee will elaborate more on this at the C&C Meeting.  Please note, when a crew obstructs the path of another crew, they can be penalized.  But, this does not help the crew who is protesting.  The LOC cannot guess how many seconds it might have cost someone and simply take that off from their Final Time.  The only penalty for impeding the path of a faster crew – assuming the slower crew was given time – is to exclude them.  Please anticipate when/where you might pass (or) be passed.  Choose your time & side wisely.  Above all, be careful if/when passing on the S Turn.  Safety is the priority of everyone involved here.  This is a visual of the “S” Turn from the air during a race (below) and higher (beneath):

 

 

This picture was taken from the Finish Line side of the S Turn.  The bottom side of the bend is the racing lane. (Notice the spots where there may be lily pads).  The Top side of the bend is very tight for crews rowing to the Starting Line.  You can see the bridge at the top of the picture.  You will be taking the right side of the Bridge (previous picture).

[4] The Body of the Race Course:

The entire race course is buoyed.  With the exception of turning into the starting position, you should NEVER have to cross the buoy line.  After the “S” Turn, you have about 700 meters in the small bay lined with white race course buoys every 10 meters, and then the course widens.  Both bays are straight-away.  At the end of the 700 meters, you will see 2 large (Orange) buoys and one large (white) buoy with “1500” written on it.  This means you have 1500 meters to go.  The entire length of this stretch is lined every 10 meters with a straight line of racing buoys (the little fellas on a Sprint course).  It will also have some large ones along the way.  Stay on the racing side.  Be safe, be fast, finish hard.

[5] The Finish Line: 

There will be two, large 5mph buoys framing the Finish Line.  One has a Daytona Race Flag on it (checkered).  We will also be putting something more to make the finish line stand out.  Once you finish the race, keep paddling!  Do not stop on the Finish line.  You will paddle through the bridge and follow the buoys.  At the end of the Buoys, spin to Port and head back through the near arch (furthest right) and return to the docks that you LEFT from.  If you are on Lee’s Park, do NOT return to the Boat Launch.  It’s a long walk back to your trailer through the food tents.  Make sure you all know which dock area you launched from please.  

[6] Return Docks:

Over 2100 boats have to launch, AND return to the docks.  Please be quick getting off them.  As soon as possible, please come back and get your oars.  The NYS Boat Launch has a very distinct traffic pattern on it.  All boats will approach the out-going docks from a counter-clockwise pattern.  Upon returning from the race, you will head of the ramp and to the right to return to your trailer. 

Here is a link to all the regatta maps: http://www.saratogarowing.com/head-of-the-fish-maps-and-pics