The 2017 USRowing Masters National Championships are in Oak Ridge this week.
The rowing races are scheduled from Thursday, August 17, to Sunday, August 20, on the Oak Ridge rowing course on Melton Hill Lake.
The 2016 regatta had more than 2,000 entries as 165 clubs converged on the waterways of Lake Quinsigamond for the largest USRowing event ever. For Oak Ridge Rowing Association Regatta Director Sarah McAuliffe, it set the bar even higher for this year, and she is looking forward to the challenge, a press release said.
“Oak Ridge Rowing Association is extremely excited to provide an excellent athlete experience for rowers at Masters Nationals 2017,” McAuliffe said. “With our race course recognized as one of the best in the country, and an organization that has decades of experience hosting high-caliber events, rowers will have the ability to connect with other athletes socially and competitively.”
Hosted by Oak Ridge Rowing Association and Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau, the event features athletes 21 and older competing for national titles in 202 categories. Masters can look forward to another unique competition experience at the 2017 event with a beer garden and viewing area with television screens for close-up viewing of each race, the press release said. Athletes will also get the chance to meet their fellow competitors for a special Tennessee-favorite meal during competition.
“Oak Ridge has shown how much the community values the sport of rowing, and they are anxious to welcome the masters community back to Tennessee,” said USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique. “Their history of hosting events shows they are more than capable of hosting USRowing’s largest regattas, and the venue makes for a great backdrop for this event. Competitors can expect great racing conditions, enhanced off-the-water amenities, and a welcoming, local atmosphere.”
Hosting its first regatta in 1978, Melton Hill Lake is no stranger to prestigious rowing events, the press release said. It has played host to a number of USRowing national championship regattas, including the 2014 USRowing Club National Championships, as well as NCAA and SIRA college events. In 2004 and 2007, Lake Melton hosted the USRowing Masters National Championships. In addition, it was the training venue of choice for the United States women and the Swiss team prior to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.
“Late summer in Oak Ridge promises long, sunny days with calm, protected water and ideal racing conditions,” said Jim Rogers, Oak Ridge Rowing Association regatta chairman. “Our racing venue on Melton Hill Lake has long been a favorite for competitive rowing, hosting high-profile, 1,000-meter and 2,000-meter events for nearly 40 years. We are delighted to welcome masters rowing back to East Tennessee.”
“We’re all very excited and honored to host the 2017 Masters Nationals,” said Marc DeRose, executive director of Explore Oak Ridge. “Rowing is strong part of Oak Ridge history and is associated with a lot of civic pride. I know that in addition to a fair and consistent racing venue, visiting rowers will find Oak Ridge to be an extremely welcoming community.”
For more information about the venue, visit the Oak Ridge Rowing Association website at orra.org.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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