Regattas 101

Qualifications for Racing

We make every effort to race all rowers. Because rowing is done in 8’s and 4’s it can make things difficult when there are odd numbers of rowers on a squad. This is one reason why the coaches like to enter each squad in multiple events (e.g., a novice boys 8 and a novice boys 4). If there are an odd number of rowers on a squad then the coaches will attempt to make sure that each rower races in at least one of the events. It is rare if there are rowers who don’t race.

Regatta Travel

For the majority of our regattas, athletes are required to get a ride from a parent or guardian to the regatta site. Only for a few regattas will the team travel on a bus and stay in a hotel. This is for races that are farther away and racing lasts more than one day. Important note: it is a club policy that no athlete drives oneself to a regatta for safety purposes - must ride with an MRC parent/guardian.

Regatta Information

Regattas are generally much like daylong outdoor swim meets. Each regatta follows a similar schedule but each venue has its own schedule. The final race schedules are posted to competing teams a few days before the event. It’s only then that we have a good idea of when each rower will race. However, because rowing is an outdoor sport, delays in the event schedule are very likely. It is for that reason that we encourage rowers not to plan something important on race days. When we travel, our return times to Milwaukee are only estimates and the rowers will call from the bus when they are about an hour from the city. If we are going to be late returning home, we will certainly have the rowers call. Many of the regattas we race in have event information online. If you are looking for an estimated time for your rower’s race, go to our regatta schedule. We will have links to each regatta when available. Ask if your rower is rowing in a 4 or an 8; novice, varsity or JV and you can find race information at the regatta website.

Regatta Itinerary

Trip information will be distributed the week prior to each regatta. This information will contain departure and return times, what to bring, where we are going, where we are staying (if it is a traveling regatta). Times of departure vary with each regatta. Usually, the link to the regatta's website will be found on our website. These race sites may contain information on the race schedule, as well as directions, parking, etc. It is extremely important that you are ready to leave on time! We cannot hold the bus (full weekend regattas only) for a tardy individual. IMPORTANT: Rowers are not allowed to drive oneself to or from any away regatta.


Boat lineups are sent out a few days before a race. These lineups are always subject to change, although changes once the lineups are sent are rare. Usually you can expect the lineups 3 days before a race.


Every rower should bring one gallon of water for everyday of racing. This will be put in the team coolers and shared by all.


All athletes on the MRC Junior team are required to purchase their uniform for participation in races. If you have not received your uniform, you are expected to wear your hi vis shirt which was issued for your learn to row session.


We bring all of the equipment necessary for a race with us on the team trailer. This trailer needs to be loaded and unloaded before and after a race. It is very important that all athletes participating in the race participate in both loading and unloading the trailer, both at the boathouse and at the regatta site.

Boat Derigging and Trailer Loading at the Boathouse

The boats are derigged and the trailer is loaded at the boathouse usually the day before a regatta. This process lasts around one hour. Often trailer loading will occur during a normal practice time, although occasionally the time can be outside of normal practice hours. All athletes must bring their own 7/16” wrench to trailer loading. This can be purchased at a local hardware store. We suggest all athletes put their name on their wrench.

Trailer Unloading at Regatta Site

Once the trailer and athletes arrive at a regatta site, it is important that the trailer is quickly unloaded and the equipment rigged. Often we need to find space for our equipment, so the faster we can do this, the easier it will be. Please remember your 7/16” wrench.

Trailer Loading at Regatta Site

At the conclusion of racing, all athletes need to participate in equipment derigging and trailer loading. Sometimes this is at the end of a long, tiring day, but everyone must participate. Parents should not expect to leave until everything is on the team trailer. Coaches will do their best to load equipment on the trailer as the day progresses so not all of the work needs to be saved until the end. Please remember your 7/16” wrench.

Trailer Unloading at the Boathouse

Following the trip back home, the trailer must be unloaded before people go home. Depending on the race, this can be very late into the night. If the race is far away, this can occur past midnight. The trailer cannot be safely stored with equipment on it. The equipment is very expensive and must be secured inside of the boathouse. If it is a very late trip, usually we can rig the equipment at the next practice, depending on the season. Trailer unloading at the boathouse is a quick process, usually taking less than 20 minutes. Parents are asked to be patient during this time, as everyone wants to get home, including the coaches! Please remember your 7/16” wrench.


Parents are encouraged to attend all regattas to support their athlete and the team. Parents are always welcome in the MRC tent area to socialize and watch racing with fellow MRC parents. Remember to bring a chair to be comfortable watching the racing. We also appreciate any help you can provide on race day....

Chaperones & Volunteers

Regattas are all-day affairs beginning very early in the morning. As a result, the MRC Juniors usually drive to the site very early in the morning, the day before the regatta to set up. The day of the regatta there are tents and food tables to set up, food to prepare and put out and plenty of other tasks to occupy the chaperones and volunteers. Volunteers are needed and appreciated. If you are a parent interested in volunteering as a chaperone or in any capacity, please contact the Director of Junior Rowing – we are always looking for volunteers!

When we travel, rowers will be accompanied by parent chaperones. Chaperones are the ruling authority for the trip. Rowers who are rude, uncooperative, or disrespectful towards these individuals will be reported to the coaches, and dealt with on an individual basis. Don't push your luck, or the chaperones’ patience!