By Ed Moran/USRowing
Starting earlier this week, trailers loaded with boats and equipment pulled out of the parking lots of junior and high school crew boathouses across the country and headed to Oak Ridge for the 2013 USRowing Youth National Championships, June 7-9.
Some 369 crews from 153 clubs representing 30 states began arriving at the Melton Hill Lake race venue Wednesday to compete for three days with the hopes of winning a national championship in one of the 18 events featured in both sweep and sculling boats.
Racing begins each morning at 8 a.m. and will continue through 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday with heats, reps, and semifinals leading up to the Sunday finals.
Each year, the popularity of the regatta has grown, and this year, it is the largest in the event’s history.
“This event is really one of the premier races in the country,” said USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique. “These crews have worked hard to earn the opportunity to compete here, and we expect great racing throughout the weekend.”
“As always, the schedule will be fully packed, and we will be hoping that Oak Ridge continues to provide the great weather we have seen the past two years. Oak Ridge has been a fantastic host for this regatta. Their core group works very hard, and always delivers a great regatta experience.”
This is the third year the regatta has been held on Melton Hill Lake, a favored race venue for crews from around the country. Organized locally by the Oak Ridge Rowing Association, the event has grown in popularity in the Oak Ridge area and is expected to attract some 5,000 spectators, according to Allen Eubanks, who is the association’s head coach and heads up local regatta efforts.
“This is our third year to host the event, and we’re trying to make sure that we reach the bar that was set last year, to have a good regatta that runs on time,” Eubanks said. “The forecast right now is predicting some inclement weather, so we’re trying to make sure that it has the least effect on the racing as possible.”
Eubanks said one new addition to the regatta is the availability for bike rentals. The regatta course has a sidewalk that runs nearly the entire length of the course and a company will be on hand to rent bicycles.
“It’s been great to have this here,” Eubanks said. “It’s a fair course for all the teams that are involved.”
For complete event information visit, http://www.usrowing.org/Events/YouthNationals.aspx.
For more 2013 Youth National Championships news and features, visit http://www.usrowing.org/Events/YouthNationals/2013YNCPress.aspx.
Saturday semifinals and Sunday finals will be broadcast live on USRowing’s You Tube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/usrowingorg.
USRowing is a nonprofit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee as the governing body for the sport of rowing in the United States.