Adaptive Regatta ideas for your club


Mike Sullivan and the team at the Bear Island Aquatic Center in California held an adaptive rowing day.  He has shared the full event with us so you can do one for your club.   [note this was the email sent to club members and event organisers – copy it].

BIAC Drag Races

Here’s a description of the event we had, went off according to plan and schedule, after the singles went out we sent out a four and a double to do some rowing and piece each other a bit.

In the scrimmage we had people with following disabilities:

  • 2 blind (they both raced singles then jumped in the stern pair of a four)
    Adaptive Rowers regatta at BIAC Adaptive Rowers regatta at BIAC
  • 3 spinals (wheelchair)
  • 1 MS (wheelchair)
  • One leg amputed (at hip)
  • 2 Traumatic Brain Injury – going thru lengthy re-wiring process!

Team Briefing email

Meet at BIAC at 8 am. Launch boats:

  • 3 events to be held on the 250 meter stretch between Pete’s Harbor turn and the first turn in sight of the boathouse
  • We really want to start on time, but the subsequent events are somewhat flexible
  • 8:45 am. Event 1: boat parade. 2 x 250 meters all line up side by side and paddle, give a chance for people to try to steer and row with other people right next to them.
  • 9:00 am: Match races: 2 to 4 boats will line up from a standing start and race to finish, there will be a “random” draw for the matchups.
  • 9:30 am. Challenges: individuals can challenge each other to more races, or can be suggested by the regatta committee. Athletes who want to race in a single, then row back to the dock, switch into a team boat and race other team boats will be accommodated. We’ll run races as long as there are racers!
  • 10:00 – 11:00 am. Boats put away and loaded. – post regatta brunch and awards ceremony.
  • Understand, we have a graduating schedule, light and easy at the beginning, then the racing will become more challenging. Newer rowers should limit themselves to the early sessions, then come in off the water.
  • Competitors can chose one or more events to participate in, and time will be allotted if there are boat swaps to be made.
  • Club singles will be available for rowing, scullers who would like to try TA rowing (Trunks/Arms) will have a couple Aeros available with a fixed seat.

Volunteers will be needed for:

  1. ramp and boat assistance, dock marshalling
  2. a marshall for Pete’s Harbor turn
  3. a marshall for “first turn” the 90 degree turn between the boathouse and Pete’s turn. Those two spots will be start/finish areas alternately and we’ll want to control other scullers and paddlers rowing through.
  4. Laura volunteered to organize post event BBQ, she’ll need help
  5. photographer
  6. Awards guru and helpers.
  7. Parking Czar

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Linda Railsback

    Several of our coxes have some trepidation about adaptive rowers that they are coxing in a 4+ or an 8+. Any advice? Thanks, and keep up the good work.

    1. Rebecca Caroe

      Linda. My suggestion is to get the coxes to work with the adaptive rowers indoors on an erg first so they can establish language and understanding in a safe environment and acquire an understanding about what the crew can or cannot do within physical limitations.

      I also recommend having the coach at those sessions so they can agree an ’emergency response’ if the crew gets into trouble and needs more help from a coach boat or from the bank party.

      If you can be more specific about what the ‘trepidation’ is about maybe I can make more suggestions.

      Rebecca Caroe

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