Lansing rowers enjoy city’s first regatta

August 30, 2013 by  

Lansing residents who enjoy rowing plenty to sick their oars into on August 17, when the city held its first regatta, calling it the ‘Capital City Sprints’.

The regatta was held on the Grand River and featured approximately 250 entrants, who competed in a series of 1,000 meter races. The sprints took place over a course that began at a dock near the Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard bridge and ended at Grand River Park, where the riverboat Michigan Princess is docked. The Lansing Rowing Club sponsored the event, which began at 8:00 am and continued throughout most of the day.

Mark Alley, who is both a member of the rowing club’s board and a former police chief of Lansing, was the announcer for the regatta, which he hopes will become an annual event. In addition to the races, the event gave people an opportunity to learn a lot of rowing vocabulary.

Among the events on the day were single rowers, double sculls (two people to a boat), and quadruple sculls (four people). The boats with four rowers also usually had a fifth person aboard, the coxswain, who steered and shouted instructions. In these boats, each rower had two oars. There was also a class of boats called ‘fours’, in which four people each rowed using a single oar.

The regatta was successful, and drew an enthusiastic crowd. Since Alley and others want to make it an annual event, they could work with brochure printers to create a pamphlet suitable for display at hotels, terminals, restaurants and other locations popular with visitors. They could also mail some of the brochures to local residents.