Story courtesy USRowing/Luke Reynolds
Crews from across the country ranging in every age and skill level converged on Oak Ridge this week for the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships, which started Wednesday and ends Sunday on Melton Hill Lake.
Philadelphia’s Vesper Boat Club is the defending overall team points trophy winner. The team brought nearly 200 junior men and women to compete on the Cooper River in Camden, N.J., in 2013 and also took the men’s and women’s trophies to sweep the event.
This year, around 1,500 athletes from 80 different clubs will be participating in the event, which is hosted by Oak Ridge Rowing Association.
“The city is really trying their best to welcome people to Oak Ridge,” said Oak Ridge Rowing Association President Terry Holley. “The businesses are very excited for this regatta and all regattas hosted by USRowing.
“It’s a tremendous amount of work to get the course together and make sure it is the best it can be, which is time consuming, but we want people to feel at home and enjoy our venue.”
Melton Hill Lake has been the site of several large USRowing events including youth nationals and club nationals and is one of the premier rowing venues in the country. Club nationals was last in Oak Ridge in 2010, and since that time, the regatta has seen a significant increase in the number of entries in the junior divisions.
The event offers different levels of racing, ranging from junior to intermediate and senior, allowing for every level of competition across many age groups. This year, finals will be live-streamed on USRowing’s You Tube channel Friday, July 18, and Sunday, July 20.
In addition to racing, USRowing will also host its 11th Annual College Fair on Sunday, July 20 at 12:30 p.m. The fair will have more than fifty colleges represented with coaches on site to discuss various aspects of rowing in college. Athletes wishing to participate in the College Fair must be rising seniors for the 2014-2015 school year and be competing at the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships.