High Point, North Carolina – Greensboro rowers enjoyed an epic day of racing among a record 500 rowers and an estimated 1,500 spectators at Festival Park at Oak Hollow Lake on Saturday for the 2017 High Point Autumn Rowing Festival.
The annual regatta, hosted by High Point & Greensboro Rowing Clubs, attracted a record number of participant entries from youth, collegiate and adult rowing clubs across the southeast region.
Boat racing at the rowing festival was a 4,500 meter time-trial in 42 boat classes defined by size of boat, age, and experience level. Boats race across Oak Hollow Lake and around a giant inflatable rubber duck some three stories high. The penalty for crews not racing around the duck was instant disqualification.
Brisk 15 mile per hour winds at the start of racing, however, lifted the duck from its anchors and sent it flying down the lake.
Mayhem ensued, as the first round of crews, fearing possible disqualification, began chasing the duck down the lake at full speed.
The giant duck soon ended up on land by Centennial Avenue and rowers were directed back on the race course.
“The winds blowing the duck away certainly messed up timing and results for the first two rounds of racing,” said regatta co-chair Mandy Greene. “But in hindsight it may add to the lore of this regatta, which continues to grow in leaps and bounds.”
High Point – Greensboro rowers, racing as HPG Rowing, led the medal table at the conclusion of racing with 8 gold medals. Raleigh based Triangle Rowing Club finished in second place with gold medals. Asheville were just behind with six gold medal wins.
The College of William & Mary from Virginia led the medal table for universities with six first place finishes. NC State won 3 golds. Wake Forest University were third on the medal count. The local student club program from High Point University declined to participate on Saturday.
Raleigh Rowing Center picked up 6 first places in the adult or Masters division races. Carolina Masters won three gold medals.
For Lisa Schlencher, Greensboro Crew’s new head coach, the weekend was an outstanding success. “Our rowers came prepared to race. We focused on getting everything right off the water as well as in racing. We are seeing progress.”