By Juli McDonald

BOSTON (CBS) – Thursday afternoon, vendors for the Head of the Charles Regatta will begin moving onto the site as preparations continue.

The severe weather conditions will be long gone by this weekend’s big event, but the question is how much havoc will the overnight storm wreak? Volunteer Mike Cassidy remembers the mess two years ago.

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“We set up all this fencing; We do about 3000 feet of it. Then we came in Friday morning to find it all tipped over,” said Cassidy, who volunteers with the Venue Management committee.

Wednesday night’s efforts focused on making that fencing less ‘sail-like.’

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Head of the Charles vendor tents (WBZ-TV)

“We’ve rolled up all the banners that go on the fence because they couldn’t stand the wind. We’re doing shortcuts to try and just do a drop and release after the wind is gone,” said Joan Hewson with Venue Management.

On the competing end, athletes are hoping for smooth sailing into the city. Eleven-thousand rowers are traveling in from countries around the world. Hundreds of thousands of spectators will come cheer them on along the three miles of site on both sides of the river.

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“We have a plan and a backup plan and then everything changes. It’s going to be fine,” Cassidy said.

Juli McDonald