Cars packed the parking lot at East Fork State Park’s, Harsha Lake. This major regatta has attracted rowers to East Fork State Park from all over country. The regatta was held from July 12th to the 16th, with events lasting all day.
Harsha Lake has hosted various rowing events throughout the years, but the US Rowing Club National Championships attract the most athletes from across the country. In 2015, East Fork State Park was chosen to host the regatta, and has ever since. This event is exciting for Clermont County because of the sheer number of people that come to East Fork State Park from all over the country. This is also exciting for businesses in the area since many teams will need food or lodging. Some local businesses are even invited to cater at the regatta.
Tents and booths cover East Fork State Park during the Club National Championships. One of the most important tents is the volunteer tent. Sarah Gleason, the Volunteer Coordinator, pulls in many groups (like Boy Scouts) and individuals to help out with stake boat holding and collecting trash during the regatta. Gleason and many others are a part of the CVB (Clermont Visitors Bureau), the group responsible for hospitality and finding volunteers for events like the regatta. The CVB also pulls in many vendors and was even lucky enough to have coffee and “Tim-bits” donated to them for the referee tent.
Another important tent for the rowers is the weigh-in tent. Here, the rowers will figure out the weight of their boat prior to the race. The racing shells have different classes and each class has a minimum amount of weight. Officials from US Rowing have the ability to take the winning boats and weigh them after the race, and if the boats are not at the minimum weight, the team’s standing can get relocated to last. Because the boats are so slender, weight plays an important part in rowing, and a boat that’s too light can make a significant difference in rowing performance. If the boat happens to be too light prior to the race, the team can permanently attach something to add more weight.
Rowing requires a great deal of upper-body strength and stamina because athletes are pushing against water for speed. There are two different types of rowing when it comes to competitions: sculling and sweeping. When a team is sculling, each rower will have two short oars. In sweeping, there will be one long oar for each rower and it will usually involve a coxswain. Coxswains are people who are in charge of steering and keeping pace by yelling “row.” They’re important to a rowing team because if the rowing is not synchronized, it will slow down the racing shell, or boat.
A photo essay on the regatta can be found here.