Tips for Hosting Your Own Wooden Boat Regatta

Regattas, which are defined as a rowing, speedboat, or sailing race or a series of such races by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, have a long and colorful history in the USA. From the New York Yacht Club’s annual regatta that was first held on July 17, 1845 to the yearly Harvard-Yale Regatta that originated in 1852, these events are known to attract hundreds of participants and thousands of spectators on whenever they take place. Due to their fun nature, an increasing number of regattas are being held on a smaller scale for purposes ranging from fundraising to inter-club competitions. While organizing a boat race event may seem grueling, it can turn out to be both fulfilling and trouble-free if you follow a few simple guidelines.  

Decide on the basics
The first thing you need to do once you have decided to organize your very own regatta is to ask yourself a few pertinent questions pertaining to the date, location, and purpose of your event. Due to the amount of organization required for such an event, it is recommended to set the date for no less than 3 months away to give you time to fine-tune all the arrangements. As far as location is concerned it is important to take things such as available space, facilities, and safety into consideration. It is also imperative to define the purpose of the event as this will directly influence various aspects of the planning that lies ahead.

Make a list of all your requirements

Once you have the basics figured out you can start jotting down everything you need to source and organize in order to pull off a memorable event. Typical things to remember include seating for spectators and participants (and mulch to put around the seating if the area is muddy), adequate first aid facilities, signage, marketing, and possible sponsorships. You will also need a quality sound system that can be used for announcements and background music as well as a suitable announcer that can relay the necessary information while still engaging with the crowd in a jovial manner.

Remember the refreshments

No boating event is complete without an ample supply of food and drink. Decide whether you want to attempt to do the catering yourself, make use of a catering company, or invite food and beverage vendors to set up stalls on the day. Some popular food items to consider include packets of trail mix and jerky, burgers, tacos, corn dogs, bagels, and popcorn. Depending on when your regatta is taking place, warm beverages such as tea, coffee, and hot chocolate are a must as is Gatorade and a variety of sodas, fruit juices and, of course, bottled water. Opt for food that is easy to eat and remember to include a few vegetarian items on your menus as well. 

Hosting a wood boat regatta may require some hard work, but it will undoubtedly be well worth the effort. Even if you have never organized an event before in your life, your love for wooden boats and some basic guidance will enable you to organize a very successful and enjoyable event.

Jess Testa