The Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Stewards voted unanimously during their monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 10 to moving forward with plans for the 2021 IRA Championships, now scheduled for May 28 and 29, 2021 on Lake Mercer, in West Windsor New Jersey. The vote will be confirmed next Wednesday, March 24, 2021 contingent upon further encouraging news regarding progress in the fight against COVID-19.
Schools will receive entry packets early next week, with a final due date of Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 12:00 pm EDT. A threshold of 20 schools entering the heavyweight events must be met, for the regatta to proceed.
The Stewards approved consolidating the regatta from a three day to a two day event, to reduce time spent on site. The schedule includes a time trial for all the heavyweight events Friday morning, followed by semifinals Friday afternoon and finals Saturday morning. The time trial has been implemented for this year only as a way of giving all participating crews the fairest chance possible to progress through the rounds of racing, in a year when the paucity of out of region racing makes accurate seeding impossible. Plans for the lightweight events are ongoing and dependent upon the number of entries.
Increased health and safety protocols, already in practice for varsity sports across the country, including regular testing in the run up to the championships, testing prior to travel to the championship venue, and testing upon arrival will be employed. Additionally, teams will be restricted to their hotel rooms and the regatta site, and will be sequestered from contact with anyone outside the Championship Bubble for the duration of the event.
Local Regatta Organizers and the Intercollegiate Rowing Association have determined that the Championships will be run without spectators, without Alumni and Spectator Tent Row, and without the customary Big Screen in the finish line area. The Association will be providing wire to wire coverage of the event on both Friday and Saturday race days.