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First Regatta Survival Guide

Updated: Jan 27, 2022

The day before

Pack and load the car the night before. Parents help your junior rower prepare but encourage them to be independent. Mark clothes, especially club branded race suit with names.

Aim to only carry one bag of kit – with lots of rowers it can get very chaotic and personal items often get lost.

Race day

  • Go early and plan to stay all-day. Rowers/Coxswains are typically required to arrive two hours before their scheduled race time for rigging boats, race strategy & warm-up routines.

  • Parking is often limited at regattas so add extra time. Bring cash (typically £5) for parking at some events and for a regatta programme. Be prepared to walk longer distances if you arrive later in the day.

  • Water bottle

  • Club race suit (AIO)

  • Racers typically stay approximately 2 hours after their last race to de-rig boats, load the trailer and help clean up tents and equipment. Trophies are typically presented at the end of racing so be prepared for a long day.

  • No junior rower should leave a regatta before being dismissed by their coach.


Regattas are generally casual events, so prepare the way you would for any sustained outdoor sporting event. No matter the time of year, a long regatta day can have all types of weather. The better you prepare, the more you’ll enjoy the day.


  • Plenty of layers and warm socks, waterproof socks are ideal.

  • A full change of clothes and shoes especially if rain is expected.

  • A hat/cap and sports sunglasses – if the sun does come out you’ll be looking at water and the reflection can be very strong.

Other things to consider

  • Toilets are often not great so come prepared with toilet paper and hand-sanitiser if you prefer.

  • Consider do I need wellies? Some regattas do not launch boats off a dock, instead wade into the water

  • Sun block is a summer essential

  • Its a long day so bring lots of snacks and drinks

  • Large regattas have stalls selling sell T-shirts, rowing gear and of course food. Bring cash money. Always good to have a souvenir of the day.

  • Top tip, bring a fold up camping chair, standing any length of time will make the day seem even longer.

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