Hello and welcome new, returning and alumni rowers,

Welcome to a new season of rowing and racing. Hard to believe this is our 10th year.

With a new year comes a few housekeeping details we need to take care of, new information, updated information and yeah some things you’ve heard a dozen times already. Please read through the entire list; some items apply only to new folks, but some apply to everyone, including coxswains.

USRowing Membership: You DO NEED to be a USRowing member to row with us for insurance reasons.

There are multiple membership levels: Basic membership is adequate for our insurance needs.  However if you wish row in a US Rowing regatta, you will need a higher level of membership.  You can always sign up for Basic and upgrade later. Note that you can no longer sign the waiver with an expired Championship membership.

To sign up or renew for either go to http://www.usrowing.org/

Waivers: Most regattas accept the online USRowing waiver. The waiver is valid for a calendar year (regardless of membership type) and must be signed each calendar year.

To sign the waiver, first join USRowing, then go to http://www.usrowing.org/ (use XVNCL for the Athlete Access Code if not already affiliated with Westford Community Rowing). This takes all of five minutes so please take care of it now.

RegattaCentral Roster: In order for us to register for a regatta and add you to the lineup, we first need to add you to the team roster. After you join USRowing (Basic or Championship) and sign the waiver send us your full name, date of birth, and USRowing ID number.

If you raced with us last year, I already have this information for you. If you are new, please take care of this now; chasing people down last minute before a registration deadline is a pain in the ass.

Membership, waivers and roster apply to rowers and coxswains alike. Membership and waivers apply to new and returning rowers.

Regatta Registration: Same as last year: Pierre, Peter K, Jody, and I will divvy up the task of registering (and fronting the money) for the various races. Once we know which of us is handling which regattas we’ll let you know. A few things to keep in mind:

§ Make our lives easier and be responsive when we request information and if there is a change in your availability let us know promptly. Registration deadlines are posted on RegattaCentral.

§ Understand Coach has final say on lineups and equipment.

§ While we strive to keep the RegattaCentral lineup accurate, it is for information mostly.

§ Even though we don’t ask for money when we register, we do incur entry fees and your share will be added to the spreadsheet I maintain. Don’t be surprised come the end of the year. When you state you’re available you’re on the hook for your share of the entry fee.

§ More and more regattas are implementing event caps, so when we can, early registration is beneficial; however, once we register there may be a fee for scratching (see bullet one regarding keeping us up to date).

Expenses: For most of our expenses we keep track of them throughout the year and settle up at the end of the season. This is easier than passing money back and forth continuously. If you lay out money, send me the dollar amount spent, a description of the expense, and a list of people responsible for the expense so I can credit/debit everyone’s  “account”.

Like last year, I’ll send out periodic updates so no one is surprised at the end of the year since our expenses do tend to creep up. The bulk of our expenses are regatta fees and gifts. At any time during the year you can pay what you owe or let it ride.

Just to be clear, we are responsible for entry fees separate from our program fees. When you race, win or lose, you will be charged for your seat. Rowers cover all entry fees so our coxswains race for free.

Scratch Fees: Stuff happens. There are any number of reasons why we might incur a scratch fee or some other unusual/unanticipated expense. No one enjoys paying fees but the money has to come from somewhere. As mentioned, regatta fees, gifts and other expenses are not covered in your program  fees. Whenever we find ourselves in this situation I struggle with the fairest way to divvy the expense between us. I do not do this lightly or in a vacuum; while taking a vote for every little thing is impractical, I do consult with others