Regatta Course (Volunteer Spotlight)

MIKE BIDERMAN ~ Lookout Rowing Club & Regatta Course Coordinator

Mike at work on the River

Mike at work on the River

How did you come to get involved with the Hooch?

I had been involved with setting the course for the Chattanooga Head Race for 13 years before the Hooch came to Chattanooga.  I was asked to provide information about the course when we first met with the Atlanta Rowing Club (ARC) folks to discuss moving the Hooch to Chattanooga.  After meeting the ARC folks, I knew that this was something I wanted to be part of.  When the decision to move here was made, I volunteered to be involved in setting the course and have been helping with that for the past 10 years.

What inspired you to become a Hooch Volunteer?

I was anxious to have the opportunity to help showcase the Chattanooga Riverfront.  This rowing regatta is a perfect way to take advantage of that riverfront. As Regatta Course Coordinator, I have a computer program which has the GPS coordinates of all the buoys that define the course. We use that program to set the buoys in nearly the same location every year. Doing it this way means that the course is very nearly the same from year to year. It takes about six hours to get the approximately 80 buoys. Each buoy is anchored with a 40-60 lb cylinder head from a junked car. We store the cylinder heads in a storage room at the rowing center between races.

In your opinion, what are the Hooch’s best qualities?

  • The Head of the Hooch is one of the largest rowing regattas in the world.
  • I truly enjoy working with all of the volunteers putting on the regatta.  They are competent, professional, focused, and just fun to work with.  I look forward to it every year.
  • I believe the downtown, the Aquarium, the Riverfront, the Riverwalk, and the trees lining the river make the Hooch a spectacularly beautiful rowing venue.

(Photography: LoisAnn Shannon Photography)