Syracuse Welcomes Masters Regatta & New Rowing Course

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championships scheduled for June could bring millions to local economy

Visit Syracuse is pleased to announce the second annual USRowing Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championships (NEMA), hosted by the Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club, is scheduled for Sunday, June 28, 2015, on Onondaga Lake. The event will provide a full slate of racing opportunities for competitors in all boat classes on a new, seven-lane, 2,000-meter course.

"The Syracuse venue is a great fit for the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championships,” said USRowing Events Manager A.J. Dominique. “Its central location in the region makes it easy to get to from the New England states, New York and New Jersey. We hope to see a diversity in attendance at this year's regatta."

In support of the event, Onondaga County has committed to purchasing a new, seven-lane, 2,000-meter course to attract future rowing events to the area. In fact, the planned course was one of the features that made Onondaga Lake more attractive to NEMA. The course would be located on the eastern shore of Onondaga Lake with the anticipated starting line being located in Willow Bay.

“Several years ago, our Club’s leadership sat down together and developed a strategic plan and vision - to foster the development of our youth, contribute to the economic well-being of our community, and promote healthy physical/social activities for all age groups,” said Chargers Rowing Club President Joe Bufano. “This race course and the regattas it will bring will allow us to fulfill this plan and vision. We view Onondaga Lake as a gem; we now get to share this gem with rowers from across the country and beyond.”

The Masters event has the potential to distribute millions of dollars into the Syracuse economy. In 2014, the Masters National Championships brought an estimated $2.2 million to the city of Grand Rapids over four days and the Northeast Junior District Championships brought in more than $550,000 to the Lowell, Massachusetts area.

“When you partner with passionate people, who are working towards the same goal, great things happen,” said Visit Syracuse Sports Development Director Jeff Mickle. “We are thrilled to partner with US Rowing, Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club and Onondaga County Parks to bring national rowing events back to Central New York.” 

"The USRowing Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championships are a great opportunity for the venue and the sport of rowing,” said Dominique. “With the county's support, having a new, seven-lane course made available will benefit the region greatly. Syracuse has shown that they understand the value of the sport to the community. As the sport continues to grow, so will the demand for quality courses. Having a seven-lane course puts Syracuse on a limited list of venues that can be considered for larger regional and national level events.”

Rowing on Onondaga Lake dates back to the 1870s, when the Boating Association of Syracuse University was founded and began hosting collegiate races. It served as the site of the IRA National Championships from 1952-1992. From 1995 to 2000, the Syracuse Chargers hosted the USRowing Club National Championships, as well as the 1996 USRowing Masters National Championships.

In addition to the Syracuse Chargers Rowing Club, Onondaga Lake is home to Syracuse University men’s and women’s varsity rowing programs and Liverpool High School Crew. Each spring, the Syracuse Chargers Junior Invitational Regatta consistently draws more than 1,000 New York State high school athletes and their families to the area.

Registration for the 2015 USRowing Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Masters Regional Championships will open in April at www.regattacentral.com. Competitors will have an opportunity to race in 50 Masters events in all boat classes, including lightweight. More information will become available at www.usrowing.org.

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