TAMPA, Fla. - The 5th Annual Tampa Mayor’s Cup Regatta, one of the pre-eminent early season rowing events featuring many top crews and athletes from around the country, will take place Saturday, March 17, at Tampa Bypass Canal. Since the inaugural event in 2008, The Tampa Mayor’s Cup Regatta has become a key event for the many top universities training in Florida during their spring breaks.
“While Tampa has long been home to spring training for many top universities and Olympic crews, this spectator-oriented event presents a great opportunity for the community to witness competition at the highest level,” commented Tom Feaster, President of The Steward’s Foundation and member of the Board of Directors of United States Rowing Association.
Feaster continued, “With the venue at the Tampa Bypass Canal, there will be numerous great vantage points at Harney Park for spectators to bring lawn chairs and blankets to just enjoy our March weather while watching the races with friends and family.”
Spectators will be treated to some serious competition, according to Don Vickers, Regatta Director. This year’s event has attracted 249 entries from 39 rowing organizations. They include more than 750 athletes from 24 cities, six states, and two countries.
The 2011 champion, Hamilton College from upstate New York, will defend its title against schools that include Colgate University, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Saint Lawrence University. Hamilton will also receive tough in-state competition from the University of Tampa, Stetson University, Florida State University and the University of South Florida.
The day-long regatta begins at 7:30 a.m. and will include championship events for both high school men and women and masters’ men and women, in addition to the collegiate events. Junior entries from Tampa include The Stewards Foundation, Tampa Training Center, Tampa Prep, Berkeley Prep, Tampa Catholic and the Academy of Holy Names. These youngsters will match blades with The Sarasota Scullers, Sarasota Crew, Boone High School, Orlando, Bishop Newman, University School, Cape Coral, Citrus County, and The Miami Rowing Club.
There will also be a record 18 rowing clubs from as far north as Narragansett, Rhode Island featured in the Masters Competition. This year’s regatta will highlight the second annual Veterans Masters Singles event named in honor of Admiral Lee Roy Collins. Admiral Collins was a long-time regatta participant for The Tampa Rowing Club, who died in a bicycling accident on his way to rowing practice in 2010.
“Tampa is such a popular rowing venue with both competitors and spectators that the Tampa Mayor’s Cup Regatta could easily become one of the most popular events in the U.S,” noted Vickers.
Vickers is not alone however in promoting the venue. The Tampa Bay Sports Commission, The City of Tampa, Ken Walters Productions and Tampa Bay & Company have all provided significant support. Ken Walters and Jim Lonigro, Event Promotional Managers, have arranged for a series of “Promotional Gifts” from several companies including:
- Sea Dream Yacht www.SeaDreamYachtCruises.com
- Splash, an Ocean Grill www.SplashanOceanGrill.com
- Timpano Chop House www.TimpanoChopHouse.net
- Mangrove’s www.mangroves-restaurants.com
These Promotional Gifts will be given away once the event begins and will go on throughout the day. So come early and stay late for a chance to win, while supporting the valuable work being done by The Steward’s Foundation.
While the race is free for spectators, sponsorship proceeds go to The Stewards Foundation, which supports youth programs and is open to any high school student who has no access to a high school program at his/her school, as well as to inner-city summer youth programs coordinated through the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department.
Denny Antram, Vice President and Visiting Team Coordinator for The Steward’s Foundation, stated, “Collectively, these programs have made available an elite athletic sport, numerous scholarship opportunities and the principles of teamwork and responsibility to a host of our of community’s youngsters and economically disadvantaged students.”
Feaster added, “With the support and encouragement of Mayor Bob Buckhorn, who will be attending the event, The Steward’s Foundation and The City of Tampa are committed to the efforts to make this sport more accessible to the kids in our community and we are proud to host many of rowing’s most talented young athletes in Tampa.”
For additional information visit www.RowTampa.com