With the world championships coming to Oklahoma City next year, the Oklahoma Regatta Festival served as a testing opportunity for rowers from around the world.
“We had participants from places like Canada, Great Britain, and Hungary, as well as officials from around the world,” said OCU coach Mike Knopp. “They were here to kind of evaluate the venue for next year's world championship and that went very well. We had some great reviews on the city and the venue.”
The event also featured several college programs from across the country, including traditional powerhouse Harvard.
“Harvard has been coming here since the first year we started doing this,” Knopp said. “I think it's a credit to this event that a program like theirs would keep coming back every year. They really enjoy this event at the collegiate level.”
MADDAMMA LEADS OCU MEN
OCU's Matthew Maddamma had strong performances during the Head of the Oklahoma Regatta over the weekend, taking home two gold medals.
The senior took first in the men's open lightweight single and collegiate single, placing ahead of two U.S. National Team members.
“I'm certainly pleased with how I did,” Maddamma said. “To get some gold medals at this event in my senior year is great. It was almost a repeat of what I did here last year so I don't know that this was very telling on how much speed I've gained this year. Overall, it is a good start to the season, and I think I'm on the right track.”
SOONERS HAVE IMPRESSIVE SUNDAY
The Oklahoma women's rowing team finished strong in the Head of the Oklahoma Regatta on Sunday.
Sooner boats dominated the women's open two race, taking first, second, and third out of 15 entries. Kellie O'Reilly and Emmie Preskitt finished first, Kim Moldenhauer and Marilyn Kozlowski second, and Abbie Seremek and Rachel Cantrell third.
In the women's open four OU boats finished in four of the top six positions, with the OU C boat claiming first.
VISITOR SPENDING ESTIMATED AT $1 MILLION
With more than 3,000 competitors and thousands more spectators, the OKC Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates spending by visitors of the 2013 Oklahoma Regatta Festival at $1 million.
The five-day event, which was the largest in its history, wrapped up Sunday with the conclusion of Head of the Oklahoma Regatta racing on the Oklahoma River.
Along with racing, the event offered live musical entertainment and the many family friendly RIVERSPORT Adventures on the Boathouse District. The festival also featured some of OKC’s most popular food trucks, a vendor area for shopping, and a beer and wine garden. A fireworks display capped off each night.