This year’s regatta season will start next week with the Cardinal Invitational in Oak Ridge. That rowing competition with the University of Louisville is scheduled from March 13-14 at Melton Lake Park.
Other rowing events will begin in late April and run almost every weekend through May, a press release said.
This year, the Oak Ridge Rowing Association will host, for the first time, the NCAA Division I American Athletic Conference (AAC) Championship, the press release said.
The races this year follow the cancellation of six regattas in 2020, including the NCAA Division I, II, and III Championships, the press release said.
The start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 had other effects as well. COVID “stopped spring training in its tracks, and the effects continue into the 2021 training season,” the press release said. “Clubs and teams face a number of challenges. Many are related to restrictions on their athletic programs by their schools, colleges, and universities, as well as some schools canceling spring break for students. ORRA is actively working with these teams to return to their training schedules in 2022.”
The press release said Oak Ridge Rowing Association typically welcomes more than a thousand high school and college athletes to Oak Ridge each spring.
The cancellations that have occurred due to COVID were “devastating to the organization (ORRA) and to the area businesses that enjoy the influx of athletes, family, and spectators,” the press release said.
The safety of athletes, spectators, and officials is being made a top priority so that the regatta season will be successful, the press release said. So Oak Ridge Rowing Association has appointed a chief health officer and incorporated venue-wide policies that will allow athletes, referees, and volunteers to participate safely in events, the release said.
You can learn more about upcoming regattas under “Events” on the Explore Oak Ridge website or on the Oak Ridge Rowing Association website.
The press release said rowers from across the country will be in Oak Ridge for the regattas, and there will be visitors in local hotels, restaurants, and retail establishments.
“Having a nationally ranked rowing venue is an asset to the City of Oak Ridge, as well as the entire region,” the press release said. “Rowers come from as far away as Canada to experience the incredible rowing conditions of Melton Hill Lake.”
Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch said: “Oak Ridgers are thrilled to see rowing teams on Melton Lake, because it reminds us how we treasure longtime relationships with the rowing community. It is also a definite sign that spring is just around the corner.”
As a reminder, the press release said, there will be some traffic changes and slow downs during regatta weekends, including on and near Melton Lake Drive.
For more information about rowing events or for information about learning to row, contact Oak Ridge Rowing Association at www.orra.org.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
You can contact John Huotari, owner and publisher of Oak Ridge Today, at (865) 951-9692 or [email protected]
Most news stories on Oak Ridge Today are free, brought to you by Oak Ridge Today with help from our advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers. This is a free story. Thank you to our advertisers, sponsors, and subscribers. You can see what we cover here.
Do you appreciate this story or our work in general? If so, please consider a monthly subscription to Oak Ridge Today. See our Subscribe page here. Thank you for reading Oak Ridge Today.
Copyright 2019 Oak Ridge Today. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.