Hard to believe that getting "regatta ready" would have ever become a skill we needed to brush off, but let's face it: what was old hat once upon a time is all brand new again as the rowing world--from juniors to collegians to Olympians--gets back to racing and traveling after seeing the nearly complete shuttering of the sport in Spring 2020.
Now regattas may look a bit different at present: fewer spectators and food tents, assigned launching times and virtual coxswain meetings, and even clearly marked team-only areas complete with portajohns reserved just for your team.
What hasn't changed of course, is that you can't attempt a Race Day on the road without having all your wrenches, spare parts, straps, and assorted gear as sorted out and ready to go as ever.
We've covered this all before, in our Rowing Hacks' Regatta-Ready? guide and when our own Adam Bruce did that hack one better, putting together row2k's Ultimate Regatta Packing List--which should probably be in your book mark list, folks. We've also got those of you who need to trailer to the races covered, even those who might eventually get to do a long cross-country haul again once races start becoming less regional.
The basics, though never change, and no hacker would be caught regatta-ing without these essentials:
- a pocketful of washers and right-sized nuts, to save having to look for dropped ones in the grass
- a roll of electrical tape, for affixing bow numbers or quick pitch tweak
- zip-ties, for emergency heel-tie repair
- a wrench or two for last-second tightening (or, better yet, a carabiner full)
- at least one spare each of the stuff you can't just hack together, like a seat and a foot-stretcher
- and, of course, a beater bike!
You probably shouldn't forget the usual 2020-2021 add-ons, either: be sure to pack the wipes, the extra hand-sanitizer, and those spare masks, so that your traveling road show can be as safe and as clean as your home boathouse has become.
Who know how many of the COVID changes to how we do Race Day will stick--we bet that team-only portajohns might be a keeper!--but the essentials never change: things will get loose, get broken, and get left behind, so take a second to make sure you are really bringing everything you need to hack the heck out of your next regatta.
What is on your Race Day "must have" list? If you have any ideas that help on your road trips, share your tips--and hacks--in the comments below.
Have a great rowing hack to suggest for future inclusion here? Send it to us!