Regatta not beyond reproach

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St. John's -

I am, sad to say, no fan of the Regatta. The races, I love. Its everything else surrounding the event which leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Some of my fondest childhood memories are of waking up early enough to bike the length of Empire Avenue all the way to the lake with my father to catch the first few races of the day. At that hour in the morning, there were no screaming youngsters, no crowds, and very few raffle wheels spinning accompanied by the boisterous hollers from the ticket sellers disrupting the serenity of the morning. In short, little to nothing to distract you from the true purpose of the day; the races. As I grew older, I strayed away, as most teenagers would, from those early awakenings. But I found myself accompanying, more often than not, friends or girlfriends to Quidi Vidi later in the day. Which is probably where my contempt for our modern day Regatta found its humble beginnings. This wasnt the Regatta I remembered although I was probably too young and nave to see it before. It had become nothing more than a giant fundraising garden party where the only people interested in the action on the water were those with a vested interest in the people rowing. Everyone else had their attention turned to new and creative ways to throw money away for a very slight chance at a few hundred bucks or a stuff pink elephant. Which is what bothers me the most about the event to this day. So, on Wednesday, I wont be covering the Regatta. Ill be covering the races and the athletes on the water. Thankfully, from the boathouse, its easy to ignore the rest.

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