SPRINGFIELD – More than 60 rowers of all ages from 19 rowing clubs from around New England will be taking to the water, launching from the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (PVRC) in Springfield’s North End on Saturday, September 11 beginning at 8:30 a.m. when the club hosts the 16th Annual Rockrimmon Regatta. The regatta is in its 17th year, but did not operate in 2020 due to the pandemic.
New for 2021, the Regatta course will go north from North Riverfront Park. “Springfield has a long history with rowing, and we changed the course for some safety reasons, and to see if the logistics flow better,” says PVRC Executive Director Ben Quick.
This Regatta began in 2005 as a celebration of the Connecticut River in conjunction with the Pioneer Valley Yacht Club’s 50th anniversary. At that time, a small contingent of rowers decided to add in some friendly competition. That legacy has now grown into a three mile stake race, with first prize being a medal and an actual steak, provided by The Munich Haus. Second place finishers receive a pie, provided by Table Talk Pies.
“The race course provides competitors with a top-notch experience,” says Quick. “We are offering a 1.5 mile stretch to be raced in both directions. It goes under one bridge, is quite straight and presents few if any natural challenges.”
Another aspect of the Regatta that makes it a favorite among New England rowers is the support they receive from the PVRC staff and volunteers, led by Julie Lefer Quick. “This is not your normal Regatta,” says Quick. “We have a sea of volunteers who always go far beyond anyone’s expectations to ensure that our rowers leave happy no matter what their race results may be.”
Racing occurs Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Parking is available in the parking lot between PVRC and the Pride station, with overflow parking on Avocado Street.
For more information, call Regatta Director Juli Quick at 413-636-5428 or Executive Director Ben Quick at 413-695-1841.
Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club is a river-based nonprofit that operates recreation facilities located in Springfield’s North Riverfront Park and hosts various dragon boating and rowing programs for youth and adults.