For Fall Season, there is no Parent Meeting or “Getting to Know Us” event as it is generally a short season. The regattas are longer, each boat racing against clock as opposed to the boat next to them on the course. The Coaches are still the ones who lay out the season, regatta schedules, practices and rules, which sometimes means it changes at a moment’s notice. We must be flexible.
Generally, these are on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and sometimes Saturday. There are two buses from East Lyme high school to the boathouse after school, making life easier for your rower to make it on time to practice. Practices are over right around 5 pm. “Practices are over” actually means that they will be staying to put away the oars, launches, and racing shells before they are free to go. Arrival at 5, expect to leave closer to 5:10 or 5:15 pm.
Fall regattas are “Head Racing”, which means that the boats are racing in time trials, where boats are sent down the river or lake individually. These are longer races than the spring season. Bringing lawn chairs, food & drink for yourself and your rower, binoculars, an umbrella, rain boots (or muck boots) and dressing for the weather is best. Be prepared that some venues charge between $5 to $15 for parking/entrance fees. Usually, that information is sent along with each event’s email from the coaches. Usually, there are at least a couple of races where the coveted “Swag” may be purchased, and most Fall Regattas will have the collectible “Regatta Shirt”. Send money for those! We, as parents, receive the regatta schedule ahead of time, enabling us to mark the dates. It is quite customary for the Coaches to send race specific information to us at what most of us consider last minute. The reason is the amount of work involved in organizing a regatta is beyond what any of us can imagine. As soon as our coaches know the specifics, we will. Check your email! Check with your rower!
Provide your own rower with their water, food and snacks. “The Juggernaut” will not work for Fall Regattas, and so we will not have Sign Ups or Volunteer requests. Therefore, an “unmanned” tent and one table are set up close to the boat trailer for anyone who wants to bring in protein bars, oranges or apples for the team. There is no bus transportation available. Fall Season is a CLUB sport, not a “school sport” at ELHS, in which parents must bring their rowers at a specific time and are then able to leave when their rower’s obligations are complete. This translates to not all rowers staying the entire day. Without commitments from parents and rowers to stay the duration of the regatta, a food tent is impractical. Seeing the other school’s tents, you’ll find yourself questioning this throughout the short season. Those other tents are up because for those schools or clubs, the Fall Season IS a “school sport”, where they bring a bus and are obligated to stay all day.
If your rower does not participate in a winter sport or activity, it is advisable to have them participate in afterschool workouts once Fall Season is over. Working out after school, at the “Captains run conditioning” until about 3:45 pm each day, will enable your rower to maintain a healthy and strong body while catching a ride the late bus home. This makes it convenient to enable the majority to participate. Typically beginning in March, this becomes mandatory conditioning. Your Fall Season rower will hear or receive information regarding this. If there is an interest in Spring Crew, please have your future rower be on the look-out!
Carbs are a rower’s friend. Ideally, carbs eaten the night before a regatta will provide beneficial energy releases the following day, conveniently while they are exerting themselves on the boats, during a heated
race. This is the initial purpose of a “Pasta Party”. As an additional benefit, such a social event will aide in creating unity among the rowers, a desired characteristic of the coveted fast boat. Team Captains are responsible for collecting information and coordinating the scheduling of these parties.
Typically, the chosen host will provide a couple of the main dishes of pasta, while rowers will bring the drinks, sides, bread and desserts. If you have a home and are willing to share it with 30-50 rowers for a Friday night before a regatta, you will be THE PERFECT host. Ask your rower for details!