A Day in the Life of a Rower on Race Day

March 30, 2017


The most recent race AHNRC participated in, The Miami International Regatta, had no docks from which to launch boats. Rowers and coxswains had to walk directly in the water with their boat. Credit: Ros Moffett (used with permission)

From February to April, Academy’s crew team has busy six days a week with composed of practice and regattas. Regattas are all-day events, usually on Saturday, in which crews from everywhere in Florida gather to race. In the 2017 Spring Season, AHNRC has attended four regattas with three remaining. Below is the typical schedule of a rower on these high energy days:

4:45 AM: Wake up, put on your uni, and grab your regatta duffel bag.

5 AM: Hit the road to Sarasota’s Nathan Benderson Park.

6:30 AM: Arrive at the racecourse, and meet the team at the boat trailer to rig the boats.

7 AM: Attend the Coaches and Coxswains Meeting to review race times, traffic patterns, and general rules.

7:15 AM: Lightweight rowers (rowers that are required to be less than 130 pounds to be in certain boats) go to weigh-ins.

7:30 AM: Go to the Team Tent where breakfast burritos and bagels are served for breakfast.
8-9 AM: Lay out your blanket and pillow and take a nap; the length of naps vary depending on when each rowers’ race is.

Tents are the equivalent of a team’s locker room.
Credit: Ros Moffett (used with permission)

9:15 AM: Head to the trailer with your boat to prep for your race at 10:15 AM.

9:35 AM: Launch from the docks and row up to the start line.

10:15 AM: Time to race. Each 1,500 meter race lasts about seven minutes in which teams row down a straight course with competitors on each side and your team cheering from the shore.

10:30 AM: Boat meeting with the coaches to discuss the race and the results, then head back to the trailer.

10:45 AM – 12 PM: Relax under the tent (get homework done, read, sleep) and anytime a race AHN is in comes down the course, get up and cheer them on from the shore.
12 PM: It’s lunch time in the Academy tent. Parents are serving homemade cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, salad, and pasta.

1 PM: Head to the trailer with your boat for the second race of the day at 2 PM.

1:20 PM: Launch and row out to the race course.

Senior Abby Morris says, “My least favorite part of the day is rowing out to the racecourse. There’s so much pressure and I just want to get it over with.”
2 PM: Finish off the hardest part of the day in your last race of the day.

2:15 PM: Boat meeting with the coaches to discuss the race, how it felt, and the results.

Staffed with a Novice Coach, two Assistant Coaches, and one Head Coach, AHNRC is well equipped for success.
Credit: Ros Moffett (used with permission)

3 PM: Head over to the merchandise and food tents to buy a t-shirt and an acai bowl or a smoothie.

3:30-5 PM: Cheer for the rest of the races that AHN boats are in and start derigging boats and loading up the trailer. This is the process of taking the riggers off the boats so they can fit on the trailer. Rowers and coxswains strap boats down, load up oars, and put away the slings that the boats were sitting on.

With only three regattas left in the season, every Senior win is celebrated with the “Senior Chant.”
Credit: Ros Moffett (used with permission)

5:15 PM: Award time. Coaches hand out medals to the rowers and coxswains in the winning boats. After all medals are distributed, the coaches make announcements and the team does “hands in.”

5:30 PM: Time to head home after a long, successful day of rowing.
Freshman rower Meredith Hemmings says, “Going home is my favorite part of the day. I’m always exhausted so my sister [Junior rower Haley Hemmings] and I sleep in the car.”

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