***Begin drinking extra water 24 hours before your practice session and bring a bottle of water to take on the boat during practice***
- Release Waivers
- Park Access
- What to expect
- Paddlers Per Practice
- Paddling Technique (videos)
Please note: All paddlers must attend at least one practice session to paddle on Race Day.
RELEASE WAIVERS: An original signed liability release waiver must be submitted prior to your first practice. If team members submit their waiver at practice or sign-up for their team at practice, this will reduce your team's practice time. NOTE: 16 is the minimum participant age and a parent or legal guardian must sign a release waiver for anyone under 19 years old.
WHEN: Arrive at the CHECK-IN tent 15 minutes BEFORE your appointed practice session. Every paddler must check in with a staff member. We recommend that Captains publish a late arrival policy for their crew. NOTE: TO PARTICIPATE IN A PRACTICE, YOUR RELEASE WAIVER MUST BE ON FILE PRIOR TO YOUR FIRST PRACTICE SESSION.
PARKING: Please carpool as much as possible. We recommend parking in either the City's Coosa St. deck at 300 Coosa St. or at the Intermodal Facility deck at 480 Molton St. The Biscuits have games at 7:00 pm so there will be a charge to park at the Coosa deck after 4:00.
PARK ACCESS: There are two access point to the park: 1) through the tunnel at the end of Commerce St., and 2) from the top deck of the intermodal parking facility (next to the train shed and Montgomery Advertiser building). From the top deck, cross the foot bridge over the railroad tracks and take the elevator or stairs into the park. There is no longer access to Riverwalk Park across the railroad tracks at the end of Coosa St.
APPAREL: Dress for athletic activity, preferably with a swimsuit on or under your clothing. We recommend a hat, sun glasses (preferably on a lanyard), and sunscreen prior to 4 o'clock. Wear athletic or aquatic shoes but NO sandals, bare feet or flip flops. There will be a box at the check-in station where you can store your keys and phone. DO NOT WEAR JEWELRY TO PRACTICE.
WHAT TO EXPECT: At your appointed practice time, your coach will provide a brief overview of safety procedures, paddling technique and verbal boat commands.* He or she will then "line up" your team, pairing paddlers by height and weight and then assigning each pair a bench in the boat. After basic paddling instruction, you will head down to the dock and await the coach's instructions to load the boat by bench number. If your team lines up before your first practice you will get on the water faster. Note that when you have more than 20 paddlers on a team, every paddler should know who their bench buddy is and their bench number in advance of race day. It is wise to alternate paddling sides with your bench buddy between each race.
*See "Paddler's Guide" under Forms for safety procedures, technique, and commands.
CREW SIZE: You DO NOT have to have a full boat to practice, but it is advisable to have at least 12 paddlers present. Your session will last one hour from the beginning of instruction to the time you exit your boat. If more than 21 crew members (20 paddlers, 1 drummer) attend a practice session, some will have to wait on the dock during the first half of the session. The boat can return to the dock and swap out several paddlers, just be sure to inform your steersman and/or coach. Rarely are all members of a team able to attend either practice time, so it is wise to determine who can attend only one session or the other and then fill in accordingly.
If you have any questions, please contact the festival director.