Where to Watch the Races
There are a few places along the Tennessee River where you can watch the races. The course map shows where the races start and finish. The best place to view the finish line is from the grandstands in Ross’s Landing Park. You can enjoy the crews tents, the Chattanooga Market and the crowds supporting the crews on and off the water.
A unique way to watch the races is from the Walnut Street Bridge, one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world. From the bridge, you look down on the river and can see the crews up close, gliding under the bridge. A perfect location to take photographs of the rowers! From there, the boats are only about 350m from the finish line…so cheering is a must!
Another place to watch the races is from Coolidge Park on the North Shore where you can see the boats on their way to the start. You can also watch the finish line from a gorgeous, quieter location with easy access; so bring a chair and settle in for great viewing.
For those who have a bicycle, or are interested in renting a bicycle, this is another great way to follow the races from the shore along the bike path. Take a break and find just the right spot to hang out and watch the races. Learn about renting a bike on bikechattanooga.com.
Learn About the History of Rowing
Did you know that the sport of rowing is over 150 years old? It is the oldest collegiate sport in the USA! It originated with Yale and Harvard competing with each other in 1852. See the link below for a video about intercollegiate races between Yale and Harvard. [youtubegallery]|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epguZNLWLhk [/youtubegallery]
How to Watch the Race
The first boats start on Saturday morning at 8:40am (See race schedule). An hour before the races start, boats begin launching from the docks and row to the starting line. The regatta is a head race – competitors row a 5,000-meter (3.1 miles) course on the Tennessee River ending at Ross’s Landing Park. The results are based on time. Boats cross the start line in each race about 15 seconds apart. All boats for this year are listed in the program, which you can pick up in the Registration tent or in most of the downtown hotel lobbies. You will be able see all the participating boats on this website prior to the regatta. There are two types of boats (shells) for the two types of rowing – sweep rowing and sculling. In sweep rowing, each rower has one oar about 12.5 feet long. In sculling, a rower uses two oars each about 9.5 feet long. Rowing has its own terminology and you can find the most common rowing terms explained by US Rowing. A more complete, detailed rowing glossary you can find here on Wikipedia. See below some more inspiring rowing videos:
[youtubegallery] A Harvard Coach talks about 50 years of coaching|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5lXDcCdM8E
The 1936 Olympics, a milestone for rowing in the USA|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQVtQLcsmlE&list=PL14028F3EDACA8C46
All for One rowing movie (Clip 1)|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jiy_SBsvSaY
All for One rowing movie (Clip 2)|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZgnWlg626U
All for One rowing movie (Clip 3)|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9m9PR3KqaE
GeorgiaTech: The Pursuit of Perfection|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_kHUE_UiFc [/youtubegallery]