Q: When can I bring my trailer to Sandy Run?
A: For Saturday, and Saturday-to-Sunday (both days) competitors, you may access the park anytime after 12 PM on the Friday before HOTO. You must exit the park by 6:30 PM on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
For Sunday-only competitors who wish to arrive Saturday: we suggest that you arrive after 3:30 on Saturday if at all possible. Saturday events are heavier this year than Sunday’s so, the trailer parking lot will be maxed for much of the day. The final event, Masters 4x, STARTS on Saturday at 2:55, and if the weather is sketchy, it could be delayed.
For Sunday-only competitors who wish to arrive Sunday: you may arrive anytime before 8:00 AM without relative traffic congestion but we can’t promise anything… the earlier the better. The Park opens for the regatta and Park personnel at 6:00 AM to help you park your trailer.
For evening departures and arrivals on Friday, Saturday or Sunday: The sun sets at 6:06 PM Friday and 6:05 PM Saturday and it gets dark here. Sandy Run does not have lights in the parking lots.
Q: We are a large team in a bus or team van(s) who will be racing Sunday only. We would like to arrive Sunday. Where do we park? When can we access the park?
A: You would park at the Park and we suggest as early as possible.
Car toppers? You are on a list unless you have heard otherwise from our registrar (usually due to space and late reservation requests).
Most team buses don’t need the passes as we have already accounted for your bus in our parking plans. A team bus with rowers in it is a sign to us that you are here and you already paid for parking with your registration. If that bus or vehicle does NOT have the pass, you would need to go to lot C and to drop off of your athletes (this athlete drop-off may occur any time, the earlier the better though due to traffic and the singular way in and out of this park on land). Reference the photos at the end or cite the venue maps for more information.
Q: When can I arrive to put up my team’s site tent, etc.?
A: We suggest as early as possible. Coordinating as best you can with your Trailer’s arrival would be a good idea. Two hours in advance of any event start is a good idea due to parking and unloading logistics. The “Registration Room” which is where race packets are picked up opens at 8:30, if that helps to give you an idea.
TEAM TENTS …
Q: My team would like an area to gather. Does HOTO offer such venues?
A: Sandy Run Park has 24 spots available on a first-come / first-served basis. There is no charge for tent sites; you bring your own tent.
Team tent or space requests: register here
WATCHING THE RACE …
Q: Where is the best place to view the race?
A: That’s a good question and the answer is that there are multiple locations, yet their accessibility varies GREATLY.
First, the easiest and the nearest: an area down The Hill which is enclosed by orange “snow fencing.” It’s close to the water near the docks where your rower friends will be either departing or arriving. This area can easily accommodate several dozen people, their blankets and small coolers.
Second, the more rustic and somewhat easy: along the banks of the river. To the left of the aforementioned gathering spot are some informal and unofficial viewing areas (they are NOT the docks, walk a little farther, please). They have been known to host a folding chair or two for about 15 people total seated abreast in various pods. If you like some solitude and sitting amid a dropping leaf or fifty, this is your happy place.
Third, the farthest but by far the best: we offer The Grandstands. A shuttle bus from Parking Lot C to the Grandstands will run non-stop during the two day regatta. The footpath to this destination meanders through the woods for about 1.2 miles over roots, stones and bridges and some (not a lot) railroad-tie fortified steps. It’s a GORGEOUS and energizing walk if you’re game and you will be surrounded by less people. It’s very “natural” and “rooty” though, so if you’re wearing Jimmy Choos or are not accustomed to uneven and challenging grades and terrain, it’s best to stay in the designated main park area but WELL AWAY from the boats (i.e., the other spots above).
Where NOT to stand: on The Hill. Don’t congregate . . .
At the regatta venue map, we have highlighted where you can find points of interest such as the gathering spot at the base of The Hill and the path to the Grandstands (highlighted in yellow). We also have included at the end of this FAQ, a photo of where NOT to stand and hang out, which also happens to include where TO hang out, for your convenience.
FOR YOUR SAFETY: Spectators and idle rowers may also not approach ANY of the docks unless they are assisting a team to and from the water.
In summary, DO NOT STAND ON “The Hill,” HOTO’s approach to the water is a 40˚ grade for about 150 yards, and HOTO traffic controllers can get pretty “direct” around there because shells need to turn on a steep grade and at a sharp angle if traffic at one of the docks gets backed up, which can happen regularly. So while we love to have spectators, The Hill is really for the rowers, please be mindful and keep moving. Don’t congregate.
Q: Will there be a shuttle to the grandstands?
A: Not at all likely. If we manage to scramble and find a vendor willing to drive the “roadway” to the Grandstands we will advertise it on-site and the day of the events. It’s hard for regular vehicles to traverse; it’s really intended for for low-profile small vehicles like golf carts and Park Service trucks. That’s why we have different options as noted above.
Q: Where can I find results to the races?
A: The OBC website, the pages dedicated to HOTO
To conclude: DO NOT STAND ON THE HILL. You will be barked at by people in yellow vests.
Q: Can we bring a chuck wagon or food trailer to HOTO?
A: Sort of. For unloading and loading purposes only. Once that is accomplished, the vehicle must be moved off-site. There is a shopping center about a mile south of the park and we have heard of success parking there. (But we’re not responsible if you get towed…) Best bet is to check out this website:
Q: Will I be able to grab a bite to eat at HOTO?
A: Yes! BBQ. We are proud to have Rockland’s Catering return to HOTO. Year after year, Rockland’s Red Trucks have perched on the hill near the t-shirts and sold its fares to fill our bellies and bring smiles to many thousands of HOTO attendees. If you click on their link, you’ll find their menu, which will be abbreviated for HOTO, but it should give you a good idea of what’s coming. We have also arranged for Rockland’s to serve coffee, bagels and pastries if BBQ isn’t quite your thing.
Q: I’ve never been to a regatta, so I’m excited to attend. What should I wear?
A: We are glad to have you! Check the weather before you go — our zip code is 22039. Wear clothes that are weather appropriate and comfortable. Your footwear should be comfy; walking shoes that have good support and reliable treads are best. Save the stilettos for Head of the Charles.
Q: Is electrical power available at HOTO?
A: Not for spectators… Park Rangers will allow small, quiet, portable generators for HOTO. Please be sure to use extreme care in the safe set-up and operation of a generator. If any team’s generator is limiting the experience of others due to space limitations, loud noise or exhaust fumes, the unit be turned off and stowed.
Q: What about toilets?
A: Portajons. There will be plenty.
Q: Running water?
A: Water fountains are available across from the Portajons. The water is well water; it’s fully potable.
Q: We would like to bring our rower’s aged grandparents to the race. Will someone be available to help them navigate the park?
A: No; this is best left up to reliable family members.
SANITY AND LAWs:
Q: Can I bring my pet dog to HOTO?
A: NO, and the policy is posted on park property. Only service dogs are permitted in the park on regatta days.
Q: Can I open-flame grill in the park?
A: No open-flame anything is permitted at Sandy Run Park.
Q: What about alcohol? Can we bring some to HOTO?
Q: Will t-shirts be available?
A: Of course! HOTO t-shirts are renown! Along with our own gear, JL racing will have a kiosk, locally owned and operated Rubini Jewelers will be back selling their lovely silver, leather, brass and steel rowing-themed earrings, belts, bracelets, and we have a new vendor, Strokeside Designs, N&D Sports
A note about the placements:
Saturday bow numbers begin at 1.
Sunday bow numbers begin at 401.
Rankings are based on HOTO 2018 results; or using comparative data from other events for a team that wasn’t present last year.
The boats are ranked through 50% of last year’s event (if 20 boats last year, ranking is through 10th place last year).
After that bows are randomly assigned to all remaining ‘A’ boats, then all remaining ‘B’ boats, and so on.
There is an effort to keep boats from the same club/team from starting back-to-back.