USRowing will be adding a new national championship regatta in 2019 to cap off the spring season for younger athletes, the organization announced.
Coming off a successful Junior B/C Challenge June 10 in Philadelphia, the USRowing U17/U15 National Championships will provide an end-of-season championship opportunity for under 15 and under 17 rowers.
“Rowing continues to grow exponentially at the youth level, and we are excited to offer a national championship-level regatta at the end of the spring season,” said USRowing Chief Domestic Officer Susan Smith. “This regatta will allow our younger athletes a chance to test themselves against their peers across the country and spur more racing opportunities for our under 15 and under 17 rowers.”
Hosted by South Jersey Rowing Club in conjunction with the Camden County Freeholder Board, the inaugural event will be held June 1-2, 2019, at Cooper River in Camden County, N.J. Cooper River Park has hosted numerous national rowing events including the Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) Championships, NCAA Championships, numerous USRowing National Championships, and the 2000 Olympic Trials. This July, it will host the 2018 USRowing Club National Championships.
“We are excited to be working with USRowing to host another national championship event that will impact young rowers in our area and across the country,” said Jamie Stack, Camden County Boathouse manager and South Jersey Rowing Club head coach. “We’re thrilled that Cooper River and Camden County can support the evolution of youth rowing and continue to showcase our venue at the national level.”
The regatta will feature races in a total of 20 boat classes including the boy’s and girl’s single sculls, double sculls, quadruple sculls, four with coxswain and eight in both age categories.
“Rowing is growing, and we are excited to offer an opportunity to encourage growth within the sport,” said USRowing Senior Events Manager A.J. Dominique. “The long- term vision is for this event to grow into a Youth Nationals-like championship regatta for our younger athletes. By providing a season-ending, aspirational event for these athletes, our hope is to lead the development of more racing opportunities for U17 and U15 athletes at the local and regional levels, which will help organizations retain younger athletes.”
The regatta will be open to all youth crews — both club and scholastic — with a select number of entries reserved for crews based on their performance in under 17 and under 15 events at USRowing’s youth regional championship regattas.
Additional details will be announced in the fall.