Regatta ready to roll
It looks like it may be a soggy Canadian Secondary Schools Rowing Association Regatta this weekend, but that doesn’t bother Ken Campbell one bit.
The long-time chairman of the CSSRA has been watching the weather for about a week and is prepared to deal with whatever Mother Nature throws at the 73rd edition of the high school championships.
“They are predicting we are going to get wet,” Campbell said. “I was looking at the radar and I can see a storm in Missouri and it’s shifting north but I think it’s going to stay south of Lake Erie. We may get some residuals from that but we’re looking not bad.
“We’re an outdoor sporting event and we have to be able to change if we need to.”
Campbell and head umpire Rich Neufeld will be on top of the weather every second once the regatta gets underway at 9 a.m. Friday on Martindale Pond.
One of the changes the regatta incorporated a couple of years ago was dedicated by weather. Final races Sunday now begin at 8 a.m. with the last race slated for 2:34 p.m.
“The first year we did it because of weather issues and last year we made a move to do it on purpose and it’s working,” Campbell said.
The early start allows crews to be on their way back home much sooner and also gives officials some time should weather become an issue.
“The coaches love it,” Campbell said. “They get the racing done and are able to get on the highway and get home at a fairly decent hour rather than travelling throughout the night and then having the kids get up for school the next day.
“It also gives us time on Sunday if we do have weather we can extend. There is a window for us and adjust our schedule as needed.”
Races are scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 5:38 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 5:41 p.m. Saturday.
There are some changes this year on the water with men’s and women’s pair racing having been reentered.
“It was requested a couple of years ago by Rowing Canada,” Campbell said. “They wanted to be able to see athletes racing in that event and to help with their selections for the junior world teams.”
In addition, the fly weight has been changed in the junior 4 in both the men’s and women’s from a cox 4 to a quad.
“We’ve seen some good results in those entry wise. It’s not like no one wanted to do them,” he said.
This year’s regatta will feature 139 schools, up from 127 last year, and about 1,990 athletes and 500 coaches, which mirror last year’s numbers.
Campbell reports numbers are down for local entries, although, perennial powerhouse E.L. Crossley is on par with their previous numbers.
A new fee of $5.50 per seat has been added. While it may not sound like a lot, with about 2,900 seats, the licensing fee will raise about $13,000 for Rowing Canada and Row Ontario.
That fee is in addition to the regular fees paid by crews to enter the regatta which range from $85 for an eight to $45 for a single. Those fees raise about $40,000 which is used to run the event.
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