Hooch Weather Policy

Procedures for delaying or cancelling the Head of the Hooch Regatta

Weather conditions have a significant impact on rowing and often result in potentially hazardous rowing conditions. It is important to be aware of the potential safety hazards resulting from the impact of rain, wind, currents, fog on the river, extreme temperatures and even large amounts of debris floating on the river. Crews will not be called to launch if such conditions exist or are seriously threatening.

The Chief Referee, working with the Regatta Director and Safety Officer will discuss the conditions and potential risks to begin racing and/or continuing to row on the course. The discussion includes the assistant regatta directors, and two pre-selected team coaches.

All decisions pertaining to rowing on the course will come from the Chief Referee, and will be communicated and implemented through the Control Commission and the Dock Master. Decisions regarding emergency management and safety on land are the responsibility of the Regatta Safety Officer.

The safety and the well-being of crews are paramount to the referees and the Hooch LOC.

Conditions that may result in delay or cancelation include:

  • Fog on the river and/or throughout the course
  • Heavy rainfall on the course
  • Thunder and lightning in the area
  • A fast running river current
  • Strong winds and heavy chop on the course
  • Extremely cold weather
  • Considerable amounts of debris in the river
  • Commercial boat traffic or other navigational hazards

Actions may include:

  • Fog
    • Delay racing for 1 hour
    • Review conditions on the course after 1 hour lapse
    • Delay racing for 2nd hour
    • Review conditions on the course after 2nd hour
    • Continue review and decision process until it is safe to restart rowing
  • Heavy Rain
    • Delay racing for 1 hour
    • Review conditions on the course after 1 hour lapse
    • Delay racing for 2nd hour
    • Review conditions on the course after 2nd hour
    • Continue review and decision process until it is safe to restart racing
  • Thunder and Lightning
    • Clear the course including referees and start personnel immediately
    • Delay racing until 30 minutes after last lightning strike
    • Procedure for boats on the water when lightning strikes in the area:
      • Return to launch and recovery docks
      • Take boats out at the Lookout Rowing Club docks
      • Docks at McCallie and UTC on the south shore along with GPS on the north shore can also be used.
  • Current running too fast
    • Announce potential conditions on the course at C&C meeting
    • Cancel novice races
    • Cancel racing
  • Strong winds and heavy chop on the course
    • Suspend racing
    • Cancel novice races
    • Cancel racing
  • Heavy amounts of debris in the river
    • Suspend racing and clear obstructions and debris
    • All regatta power boats to be employed in clearing debris
    • Resume racing when it is safe to row
  • Commercial boat traffic or other navigational hazards
    • Hold launching until traffic passes
    • Boats on the course should move to shoreline and hold

Changes that may be implemented when racing is restarted:

  • Reduce length of racecourse depending on river conditions.
  • Eliminate novice races
  • Eliminate singles, doubles and/or pairs events
  • Eliminate fours events
  • Cancel all events

We want your Hooch experience to be safe and fun! Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.