There is sufficient space, but it always pays to err on the side of caution.
Most of the SCF Coaches were nice about it and merely asked when we would start and end. Sadly, a pretty senior L2 coach from SCF started being a real dick.
The encounter went something like this:
PA Staff: Hi, we're having a race in the lanes, the dragonboats may come down the lanes at speed. Could you stay clear of the area just in front of the buoys?
SCF Coach: I did not hear anything from SCF, you need to inform them in advance.
PA Staff: We've already informed SCF in advance. We're just doing a small scale race until 12pm and would like to inform you to keep a wide berth just in case.
SCF Coach: I will need to check with SCF before I move because I did not hear anything about this.
Come on man... Are you seriously going to put your students in the path of danger just because you were not informed of an activity there?
You're not a robot that needs instructions pre-programmed into you before you head out to coach.
It's like being in the army, say intel tells you the area you are going to has no enemy movement. But when you approach the area, you hear engine and track noises which means there are enemy armour units in the area. Do you just simply waltz right into the area because intel told you there isn't anything there?
The saddest part is that this SCF coach regularly assists in the teaching of L1 coaching courses. I pray that this aspect of his personality doesn't rub off on newly minted coaches.
This is also one of the reasons why I have always believed in coaches working with various agencies. It reduces the likelihood of an "Us versus Them" mentality, very simply because the coach can identify as being a representative from both sides.
As the saying goes: "They're ok once you get to know them". The problem is, you've got to know them first.