Oklahoma City University's regatta keeps getting bigger

The Head of the Oklahoma regatta will field its largest number of participants yet, more than 1,500 rowers and paddlers.
by Ed Godfrey Published: September 26, 2012
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photo - Competitors are lit by the morning sun as they warm up before competing during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival at the Oklahoma River on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman Archives
Competitors are lit by the morning sun as they warm up before competing during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival at the Oklahoma River on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman Archives

The Head of the Oklahoma regatta keeps growing.

Now in its eighth year, the regatta on Saturday and Sunday will field its largest number of participants yet, more than 1,500 rowers and paddlers.

Fifty-two rowing clubs and university crews will compete in Oklahoma City University's largest athletic event, held in downtown Oklahoma City on the Oklahoma River.

Before the regatta and during it on Saturday, there will be the regatta festival. It kicks off Thursday night with the annual corporate and dragon boat racing as part of the OGE NightSprints.

There will be more corporate and dragon boat racing on Friday night. On Saturday night, the clubs and universities will participate in the sprints.

Festival activities both Thursday and Friday nights and on Saturday include fireworks, live music, food vendors and a beer and wine garden on the Oklahoma River.

Rowing clubs from across the United States and Winnipeg, Canada are entered this weekend, as well as one athlete from the Santiago Rowing Club in Monterrey, Mexico.

Powerhouse university programs such as the Harvard men and Stanford women always send crews to the Head of the Oklahoma regatta.

“We send the seniors rather than our fastest possible lineup,” said Harvard coach Bill Manning. “It's a terrific, fun trip for the seniors and they look forward to it every year.

“Obviously, they enjoy the night sprints. The regatta also allows some of the guys to see a part of the country that they might not otherwise ever travel to. It certainly gives them a greater appreciation for Oklahoma.

“Additionally, the regatta is very well run and the site is fast becoming a center of American rowing.”

Collegiate crews from LSU, Clemson and UMass will be rowing in the regatta for the first time.

The UMass women have one of the strongest sculling programs in the country and will be in Oklahoma City primarily to offer competition against OCU, which trains its athletes in both sculling and sweep rowing.


by Ed Godfrey
Reporter Sr.
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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