How does getting weighed in work during the spring season? I’m a coxswain for a collegiate men’s team where the weight minimum is 125. I’m naturally under 110, so what’s going to happen? Sand bags? Will it be a problem?
Nope, it’s not a problem at all. The weigh-in procedure may vary amongst regattas so you’ll have to ask your coach to find out the specifics for the ones you’ll be attending. Some require weigh-ins the day before (IRAs and Sprints, for example), some require it no less than two hours before your event, some don’t weigh in coxswains at all, and some have you weigh in each day of competition. It just depends on the regatta. If you’re under the weight minimum, you’ll be required to carry either sandbags, weight plates, or whatever you come up with to make up the weight into the boat with you. They must be placed in the coxswain’s seat with you, NOT distributed throughout the boat (that will get you DQ’ed). At the end of the race the officials will ask that you hold up your weight so they can see that you brought it with you and that it’s in the coxswain’s seat, not somewhere else in the boat.
If you know ahead of time that you’ll be under the weight minimum, you’re almost always allowed to provide your own external weight. It has to be in the form of sandbags or plates though, not extra layers of really heavy clothing. This is highly suggested by most regattas if you require more than 10lbs of extra weight, that way they don’t have to give you all of their sand to carry in the boat. Most regattas also require that you label the weights you use with your name and/or team, regardless of whether they are yours or belong to the regatta.
Here’s a PDF from the IRA that details their weigh-in procedures for coxswains and lightweights if you race there. If you scroll down to page 6 you’ll find the information about coxswain weigh-ins. That should give you a decent idea of how the process goes.