We had a great race this year...again! Thank you.
We addressed all the issues with permitting and PFDs so we didn't get a visit from the "the law". It started raining as the first race was on the course, and as I pulled out of the parking lot at the end of the day the sun came out. Go figure! Even with the rain, it was still warm enough to have a good day's racing. Let's continue to build on that momentum by planning a great race for next year.
The way this works is that you just send me an email commenting on one of the topics and I'll add it to the site with the rest. I know I haven't thought of everything so feel free to add your own topic. I actually do re-read this stuff from year-to-year to see how we can continue to improve. This is also the reason I keep it posted on the site so everyone can look back.
Please, hit refresh on your browser to make sure you have the most recent version.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive. If you have any additional topics just let me know.
If you're wondering what the logo next to my name means, I see myself as the referee so I gave myself black and white stripes. :-)
Next Year's Date
DOUG: Easter Sunday is March 23 and Passover starts April 20, 2007. Click HERE if you want to see for yourself. 2008 is a leap year. So if we want to keep with the theme of the same weekend, our actual day would be Sunday March 30. To help with the weather crapshoot we could make the jump to early April and go with Sunday April 6. Either weekend is good for organizing (and doesn't conflict with holidays) but will most likely depend on other races going on at that time. Spring Quarter classes start on the 31st at Chicago so there is a conflict with them.
AMANDA (Chicago): The April 5-6 weekend is definately preferred due to the conflict with Spring Break.
WILL (Rochester): My two hard conflicts are when we race Ithaca college (it had been 1st or second weekend of April -- last year it was 4/7) and the Knecht Cup (but I am debating going to SIRAs instead) so I may have flexibility there. I then schedule URAs and fill out the rest of the schedule as I can.
|Team||Spring Break '08||Mar 29-Mar 30||April 5-6||April 12-13||School Calendar|
|Brandeis||Feb 18-22, April 21-25|
|Chicago||March 24-28||Conflict w/ Spring Break|
Next Year's Location
DOUG: I like Lake Arthur. I'll be living in North Carolina in 2008 so anywhere will be far for me. It's relatively centrally located for everyone. Below is a grid of locations, average distance to each and a map showing the routes. I also see the benefit of switching the location from time to time. I will investigate and follow up with any site you, the coaches, decide upon. If there's another location you'd like me to calculate let me know. I did not include the distance I'd have to drive in the average. I just put it on the maps for my own reference.
If the wind didn't stink so much in Indianapolis the logical choice would be to go there every other year or so. UMichigan holds their invite there in mid-April every year and they always deal with wind.
|Location||Average Distance||Furthest Team||Click on map link|
|Lake Arthur (Pittsburgh)||405 mi||WashU (655 mi)|
|Harsha Lake (Cinci)||477 mi||Brandeis (874 mi)|
|Indy||495 mi||Brandeis (940 mi)|
|Griggs Reservoir (Columbus)||428 mi||Brandeis (759 mi)|
|Oak Ridge||583 mi||Brandeis (924 mi)|
|Lake Lanier||698 mi||Brandeis (1,039 mi)|
DOUG: I didn't hear too much about the regatta packet. I had it up and posted on the web site early in the year.
DOUG: I didn't hear anyone complain about the points system this year. We had a small Excel equation error right before the awards ceremony that was fixed in time. Otherwise, people seem to be okay with the system. I periodically look at other regatta's point systems and ours seems to be directionally correct and in line.
DOUG: We changed the schedule at the coxswain meeting and everything seemed to work out fine. The largest hassle seemed to be because of the pairs. They were back-to-back and more crews than in the past doubled up in the same shells. This caused a large delay and we'll have to look at this for next year. There was also a request to figure out how to get the Women's 8 earlier in the day. If anyone has a proposed schedule, I'd welcome the input.
DOUG: Start time at sunrise seemed to be fine. The park seemed to still be okay with letting us in early. We were done and out of the park by noon.top
Race Course Installation
DOUG: The GPS course helped loads this year. Cameron and I installed all the buoys and got them as close as possible.
However, a few still managed to move out of line by the morning. I'm torn whether it makes sense to install buoys the evening
before or in the morning. We are in desperate need of more buoys. The Three Rivers RA ones we borrow are showing their
age. Most have holes.
The rumored Three Rivers RA 6-lane buoyed course at the site seems to be a non-starter. It takes motivation and desire, which doesn't exist at TRRA for a buoyed course at the moment.
DOUG: Everything seemed to run fairly smoothly this year. We were mostly on time with each part of the day. The communication between the dock, finish, and start was an issue again. The folks up at the start can't hear their radios or phones with the launch motors running. How do other regattas handle this? Maybe we should have helpers in the launch for radio duty. Let me know what you think?
DOUG: I didn't hear anything complaints or issues about the start.
DOUG: There was almost an infinite amount of launching area, so there didn't seem to be an issue getting on or off the water. Getting coxswains on the water with launch tags seemed to work as well. Teams need to remember bow number though. I buy bow numbers every year and come home with very few.
DOUG: The finish line seemed to run as smoothly as last year. Head coaches from Case, Chicago and myself were at the finish the whole day keeping tabs on the results and volunteers. We had plenty of stopwatches and volunteers (dedicated people for air horn, flag, video, computer timing, and spotting blade designs -> me). Each race was videotaped, but wasn't needed. The key was to give the volunteers clear instructions and practice a couple finishes before the boats actually came down the course. Thanks to Chris from Case and Eric from Chicago for helping out.
DOUG: I think people knew where they were stationed this year, and I think we had enough people. I think the radios helped a bit.
DOUG: Panera doesn't open until 7:30am so some of the coaches that were in the launches missed the coffee and bagels. Porto johns were delivered the night before and I didn't hear any complaints.top
DOUG: I hope the students liked having medals again this year. Crown Awards screwed up the ribbon colors again this year.
The gold medals were supposed to have maroon ribbons instead of brown. We get 10% off our order next year though. I'm sure no one noticed or cared.
This year we had custom medals made. I hope people like them.
Teams brought shirts to bet!!! I figured making the entry fee be shirts would help the teams out this year. As I've said, as long as I organize the race I'd like to see betting shirts and the awards ceremony at the end of the day.
I really liked John McCune introducing the new Milikowsky Cup this year. I was very moved to hear him speak of his friend and teammate. If other teams would like to donate a trophy let me know. I am planning on keeping the cups (especially the silver team cups) in my possession unless someone feels strongly otherwise. My plan is to provide nice plaques for the team champions that the winners can keep forever and hang on their boathouse wall.top
DOUG: We might want to consider getting alumni involved. Either begin inviting local alumni clubs for each school to the race. Also, alumni may consider sponsoring various aspects of the race or add more challenge cups. I saw a few parents milling about throughout the day, which was cool. I think organizing parents and alumni should mostly come down to each team. I'd love to add an alumni 4 or 8 race in the schedule. What do you think?top
The UAA (URA)
DOUG: I think people "get" the concept of the URA. It's our own little conference championship, but the question is whether or not to include other schools. Most races this year were full and fairly competitive. If we keep it up, there isn't any room to invite others and still keep the regatta small, intimate & manageable. Seems like coaches like the race the way it is.
If the UAA were ever to dissolve, things would change a bit. I would still be interested in a invitational regatta for Division III club crews from academically challenging universities. Even without the UAA, it'd be a pretty short list once you got past the current UAA schools.
I'm not considering inviting other schools, but I'd be interested in your thoughts about which schools you feel are "comparable" to your programs.top
Teams to Invite
DOUG: There still seems to be consensus that as long as the UAA still exists, the race should be an invitational for only UAA schools. At this point, I tend to agree.top
I want to thank all of you again. This year was probably our best yet. Every year we try to get all eight schools to attend, but it hasn't happened yet. I encourage all of you to contact the other coaches and try to get their buy in early. Walk over to the other teams in Philly or Boston and ask "Hey, are you going to the URA's? How can I help get you there next year?"
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