Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series Continues This Weekend with the 131st Independence Day Regatta on the Schuylkill River Friday July 1st through Sunday, July 3rd

Philadelphia, PA – June 28, 2011 – Since 1880, the Independence Day Regatta has been an integral part of the history of rowing, and of rowing in Philadelphia, and this weekend, the Independence Day Regatta continues the tradition, and continues the 2011 Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series.

The 131st Independence Day Regatta will compete on Philadelphia’s historic Schuylkill River on Friday, July 1st continuing through Sunday, July 3rd. The first race on Friday begins at 9 a.m. and the last race is schedule for approximately 6:30 p.m. Saturday’s first race is schedule for 8 a.m. continuing to approximately 6 p.m., while competition begins on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and concludes at approximately 4 p.m. Admission to view the Independence Day Regatta on the banks of the Schuylkill River and in the Grandstand located on Kelly Drive beneath the Columbia Railroad Bridge is free of charge. Limited parking for cars is available for a fee nearby in Fairmount Park.

“This year's Independence Day Regatta is the largest in its long history, featuring 297 races over three days in 974 boats, with 1,225 athletes, 84 clubs, and participants from 64 cities in 20 states, as well as clubs visiting from Australia, Canada and Peru,” said John Hogan, Commodore of The Schuylkill Navy. "Each year this regatta grows in size. It is indicative of the growth of the sport of rowing and the importance of rowing in Philadelphia. It also is the first year the Independence Day Regatta will be conducted as part of the Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series, which continues to establish its presence amongst the great annual sporting events of Philadelphia."

A full schedule for the Independence Day Regatta is available online at http://www.boathouserow.org.

The Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series brings together for the first time 20 previously independent events in the first organized year-long series of rowing events of its kind in any major U.S. city. The Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series is organized by the Schuylkill Navy, which is the oldest amateur athletic governing body in the country, representing the 12 rowing clubs based on Philadelphia’s landmark Boathouse Row.

With three of the largest regattas in the Mid-Atlantic region on the schedule, as well as two of the nation’s oldest regattas, the Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series connects the rowing competitors of today to the historic home of the international rowing elite. It is built upon a tradition that launched November 12, 1835 with the first organized regatta on the Schuylkill (a full eight years before the start of the rowing program at Harvard).

The Schuylkill River hosts more regattas annually than any other river in the nation, as well as two of the country’s oldest continuing regattas, last month’s Schuylkill Navy Regatta (dating back to before 1860) and this weekend’s Independence Day Regatta (initiated in 1880). Those two historic events are a significant part of the 2011 schedule for the Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series.

The Philadelphia Classic Regatta Series schedule runs from March through November, and features over 35,000 competitors in over 7,700 boats representing not only high schools but colleges, clubs, masters and open programs from around the country. The 9 remaining regattas on the schedule include:

Fri., July 1 to Sun., July 3: Independence Day Regatta (clubs/open)
Saturday, July 16: Philadelphia Youth Regatta (clubs/juniors)
Saturday, July 30: Quaker City Masters Regatta (clubs/masters)
Saturday, October 8: Navy Day Regatta (clubs/high school/collegiate/masters)
Sunday, October 9: Row for the Cure (clubs/high school/college)
Sunday, October 23: Philadelphia Children’s Foundation Regatta (h.s./coll.)
Sat., Oct. 29 & Sun. Oct. 30: Head of the Schuylkill Regatta (h.s./coll./clubs/open)
Saturday, November 12: Hutchinson Cup Regatta (masters/open/coll/h.s./juniors)
Sunday, November 13: Philadelphia Turn & Burn Regatta (clubs)

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for national, regional and local companies seeking access to this grand sport and its powerful demographic. Additional information is available at http://www.boathouserow.org.


Media Contact:
Jim DeLorenzo
Jim DeLorenzo Public Relations