If it is your first time competing for kayak racing and you don’t know what to do or what to prepare, here are some basic guidelines for you.
Preparing for the first Regatta
Your first major regatta will not be a walk in the park. That is what will always happen when you get involve in something that you have no experience about. However, in your future regattas you will apply what you have learned in the previous ones that you have joined. But it will give you more advantage if you read the following advice below a few days prior to travelling where you will be joining for the competition.
Boats and Boat Transport for First Time Kayak or Canoe Race
Here are some questions that will guide you on how to prepare for your transport to your kayak race:
- Where are you racing with the in-crew boats and have you already worked out on who will be taking which boat?
- Do you know the boat or boats that you will be using?
- Will you fit in the boat and are they at the right weight?
- Does the boat come with a number on the board holder at the back deck?
- Do you have the club racing vest? This is necessary since this represents the club color you are racing for.
- Have you already worked out on how you are going to put your kayak or canoe on the regatta? Is it okay on a club trailer? If this is the case, when will be at the reception in order to get help ready as you arrive? Will there be anyone else in your boat?
- If the kayak is not going to be on the club trailer, have you already prepped the straps and roofrack where you can tie up the boats with?
- When will you be able to get into the club so that you can collect your boats?
You have to make sure that based on the questions above, you already have everything sorted out prior to the race day. If there is any need to put on weight, you need to work your way for this or fix up the weight in the boat you are going to use.
Time of the Race
Depending on where you are going to compete, a couple of days prior to the regatta, there will be a program that will be published. The programs can be quite confusing, not to mention it is quite long. You will have to muster the patience in order to understand these classes. You can find copies online about this program, especially with the organizer of the event. You can also ask your coach to help you highlight all the races using the highlighter pen. It should also include the summary of the races and details of the names and the lanes.
You are expected to be present in the regatta course an hour before the first race you are participating in. It is even more reasonable for you to be there at least 2 hours prior. Make sure you time your arrival and also allow for any hold ups in that time frame.
What to bring
Make sure you do not forget your buoyancy aid and paddles. This is a good start for you. Even if it is allowed not to wear any buoyancy aid, there are unexpected times that the conditions can really get rough that the organizers of the regatta will insist on you wearing the buoyancy aids at that time. So it is best that you bring one with you just in case. This will save you from the stress.
Clothing. Never underestimate on how cold your body will get at the regatta if you do not bring with you a change of clothes. Although you may be expecting that the weather will work on your favor, but there are times that it can be unpredictable. The regatta courses are sometimes exposed and its wind can get really chilly. Count out the races that you are going to participate in, add it on any of the finals and include the warm up - the result to this will be how much you are getting wet or at least being damp. You may not have the complete change kit for every race, but you should take as much as you can. The least is that you take very warm clothes with you to change in between races. Wearing back your wet kit may not be nice, but this can still be done. Make sure you take a waterproof or windproof jacket so that you can put it on over your wet clothing to keep off the wind as much as it can.