Q: When will we get specifics about the day, schedule, etc?
A: http://www.soracrew.com/events is where to go to find out the information for each regatta.
We are beholden to the regatta when it comes to a lot of information. We won't know specifics for report times, release times, etc. until the final schedule is set. We try to get this info out as soon as possible but it's sometimes "week of" before we can do so. When we get this information we compile our schedule post a "regatta planner" on the event page for the regatta. Emails will go out when this information is first posted for a race and then when important updates are posted.
That said, there are some universals that apply to most regattas; the report time is usually early in the morning between 6:30am and 7:30am and the release time is usually mid to late afternoon. Middle school report/release times tend to be a little later in the AM and earlier in the PM.
Q: Do we really have to stay all day (or at least until the release time)?
A: Simply put, yes. This sport relies on a lot of support equipment and obviously boats to be taken and brought back from each regatta. It's the responsibility of the rowers to load the trailer (usually done the day before the regatta at practice), unload and "rig" the boats at the race and then de-rig the boats and load the trailer for the trip back home. Unless it's a prearranged early departure, all rowers are expected to stay until released after trailer loading and medal presentations.
Q: How do I know when my rower's race(s) are?
A: There will be a link to the regatta posted with the planner. These schedules are usually on a website called http://www.regattacentral.com. Nearly all the regattas we go to use this site for their schedules. They have a good iOS and Android app you can search for in the store for your device. We will also try to post a SORA specific schedule on the event page for the regatta.
Q: Is transportation provided?
A: For most of our regattas transportation is not provided. The exceptions are Head of the Hooch, Sculling States, Sweep States and Regionals when all rowers will ride together in provided vans/busses. These regattas are also the only ones on the current schedule that require an extra fee to cover transportation and lodging.
Rowers may not drive themselves to out-of-town regattas. If you can't get/get your rower to the regatta there are always carpool opportunities.
Q: What does a rower need for a regatta?
A: A refillable water bottle, their uni-suit or racing tank (for novices who don't have a Uni), SORA Polo (for arriving to regatta), change of clothes for the ride home and sunblock.
Hospitality/Lunch is provided at some regattas to feed the rowers but specific information about this or their need to bring food will be in the planner.
Q: What does the family/supporters of a rower need to bring?
A: SORA will usually have a few large tents set up but if you have a pop-tent or similar shelter, there may be a place to set it up. Most regattas have two distinct areas; boat trailer/launch area where the rowers spend most of their time and the spectators area where the tents are set up. Most of the time these areas are not that close to each other.
Here is a list of great things to have for regattas:
Q: How will I know if a regatta is still on in case of bad weather the morning of?
A: It's very rare that a regatta is cancelled. Usually the schedule will be reworked to compress the races before or after inclement weather. If we need to send word out about changes in schedule, etc, it will be via our text messaging system. Please sign up for that here.
Q: How are boat lineups made for races and/or why isn't my rower in a specific boat?
A: There are many factors that go into deciding who races in which lineup not just who is fastest on the erg, rows the best, etc. Coaches use chemistry, size, experience, ability, attendance at practice, attitude and many other things make lineups. Sometimes rowers won't necessarily understand these decisions at the time. It's the nature of the sport and often these decisions are made with the goal of discovering things that do or don't work for races later in the year. We ask that you/your rower not read too much into these decisions and just give their all wherever they are "boated".