Crew numbers down 'a little bit,' but no big concern

John
John Browne
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Regatta committee president says Discovery Day races will provide a clearer view of situation

The number of crews training for the Royal St. John's Regatta is down slightly, but nothing to be too concerned about at this point, according to Regatta committee president Gary Squires.

"I'm not sure of the exact numbers offhand, but I know they're down a little bit,' said Squires, who didn't have any specific information on the number of teams on the pond, but estimated registration is down about 10 per cent.

Gary Squires

The number of crews training for the Royal St. John's Regatta is down slightly, but nothing to be too concerned about at this point, according to Regatta committee president Gary Squires.

"I'm not sure of the exact numbers offhand, but I know they're down a little bit,' said Squires, who didn't have any specific information on the number of teams on the pond, but estimated registration is down about 10 per cent.

The committee president isn't too concerned, but said "any time numbers are down, it's not positive."

However, Squires noted "out-of-town" crews are not registered yet, including those from Portugal Cove/St. Philip's.

Squires said the committee will get a better idea of the "firm" crew numbers Saturday during the Discovery Day races at Quid Vidi Lake.

The Discovery Day regatta usually draws about 70 crews and as of Monday, about 60 were registered for this year's event.

While some feel there have been perhaps too many crews and races for the Royal St. John's Regatta in recent years, Squires said big numbers are not a problem.

The 2007 Regatta is set, as usual, for the first Wednesday in August and Squires said four sets of shells will be used for the first time. They include the brown shells, the white shells and both sets of the newer fibreglass shells.

He said there are enough boats available these days to handle up to 130 crews if necessary.

"The last couple of years, using two sets of shells, we've been able to run races 15 minutes apart successfully with the co-operation of the crews and coxswains."

Squires said with 24 shells, the committee would be willing to "push the envelope in regards to how many races we can handle in one day."

jbrowne@thetelegram.com

Organizations: St John's, Regatta committee

Geographic location: Portugal Cove, Quid Vidi Lake

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Recent comments

  • Margie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:34

    I don't have a comment relative to the story. I have a question though...who was Shorty Rogers? I have a book about the regatta crews and his name appears in it. Thanks, M

  • Fra
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    It seems to me that this is an odd, and possibly dangerous style of Regatta, in that the boats race halfway down a course, then abruptly turn and race back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe these racing shells are designed move in one direction. I know of no other Regatta that races in these types of boats in this manner.

    Racing this way is not a true measure of speed, in the context of the design of these shells. The crews have to slow when approaching the turn, which seems ridiculous, given what these boats are designed to do.

    It seems to me that racing in this fashion is analogous to running the 100 meter sprint, turning around at the 50 meter mark and running back to the starting line; very odd. Why not just race from one end of the Lake to the other? That way, crews are not penalized for trying to turn the shell on a dime, which is not was these shells were designed to do in the first place.

  • Margie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:32

    I don't have a comment relative to the story although I certainly do miss being able to attend the Regatta. I envy the ones who can. I have a question though...who was Shorty Rogers? I have a book about the regatta crews and his name appears in it. Thanks, M

  • lucky
    July 02, 2010 - 13:27

    Good... hopefully the numbers will drop enough so that they'll be forced to let the slide-seaters row as well.

    Traditions are good but its time to bring the Regetta into the present. Split the races between the fixed seat rowers and the slide seaters and leave out 1/2 the crews which aren't very good anyway.

    This would be a great venue for slide-seat rowers to showcase their skills and it may help develop some national quality rowers.

  • Bill
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    My wife and I really enjoy Regatta Day when we visit
    my daughter and her Newfoundland
    husband on Patrick Street. I heard a
    rumor that he and his company in
    Mount Pearl might be surprise winners
    this year. Don't tell him that I told you.
    I wonder where I got my email address !

  • John Smyth
    July 02, 2010 - 13:25

    I would just like to clarify that there are opportunities for rowers of all ages to row slide seat. Many of them train on Quidi Vidi Lake every day and will travel to events on the mainland this summer to compete. These rowers are in their 40's, and 50's.

    I will remain out of the fixed seat vs slide seat debate, I just want to make sure everyone knows that slide seat is open to all age groups and is a great way to stay in shape over the summer months.

    Please know the facts about a sport before you post comments as it might discourage people from giving it a try.

    Thanks

  • Paula
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    The Regatta is a great tradition and it can remain the same for as long as people want it too. However, the future of rowing is best demonstrated by the young men and women in Newfoundland and Labrador with a passion for the slide seat shell, which is used universally on a straight course. Regattas around the world are in the slide seat shell, particularly in Canada Games, University Games, International Competitions, and the Olympics to name a few. If the Regatta committee is down 10% in registrations, why not use the time available to showcase our own provincial, national, and international medal-winning slide seat rowers who presently train on Quidi Vidi Lake on a daily basis in singles, doubles, fours and eights. If you want to get the Regatta participation up, show our young athletes where the future in rowing is. The slide seat competitor can qualify for university / college athletic scholarships. And, you can cross-train for either shell and develop the talent to row both. How about we challenge the Regatta Committee to get together with Rowing Newfoundland and Labrador on this????

  • Brian
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Slide seat rowing is just that and the Royal St. John's Regatta is fixed seat rowing. Why change, slide seat rowers have their own events.

    I don't agree that the future of rowing is best demonstrated by the young men and women in Newfoundland and Labrador with a passion for the slide seat shell.

    There are no events for older rowers in slide seat and with fixed seat you can row and actually compete for as long as you want.

  • Ken
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Hopefully they all quit and we can finally have a sensible long weekend in August to enjoy instead of that excuse of holiday they call regatta day

  • Fa
    July 02, 2010 - 13:09

    I think many people agree that this holiday should be held on a Friday. If for some reason it's cancelled, at least they then have two more weekend days available to re-schedule. That way, most people can still attend.

    Traditionally, if it was cancelled to the following day, Thursday, the public's interest is entirely lost in the whole event.

  • Margie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:23

    I don't have a comment relative to the story. I have a question though...who was Shorty Rogers? I have a book about the regatta crews and his name appears in it. Thanks, M

  • Fra
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    It seems to me that this is an odd, and possibly dangerous style of Regatta, in that the boats race halfway down a course, then abruptly turn and race back. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe these racing shells are designed move in one direction. I know of no other Regatta that races in these types of boats in this manner.

    Racing this way is not a true measure of speed, in the context of the design of these shells. The crews have to slow when approaching the turn, which seems ridiculous, given what these boats are designed to do.

    It seems to me that racing in this fashion is analogous to running the 100 meter sprint, turning around at the 50 meter mark and running back to the starting line; very odd. Why not just race from one end of the Lake to the other? That way, crews are not penalized for trying to turn the shell on a dime, which is not was these shells were designed to do in the first place.

  • Margie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:21

    I don't have a comment relative to the story although I certainly do miss being able to attend the Regatta. I envy the ones who can. I have a question though...who was Shorty Rogers? I have a book about the regatta crews and his name appears in it. Thanks, M

  • lucky
    July 01, 2010 - 20:14

    Good... hopefully the numbers will drop enough so that they'll be forced to let the slide-seaters row as well.

    Traditions are good but its time to bring the Regetta into the present. Split the races between the fixed seat rowers and the slide seaters and leave out 1/2 the crews which aren't very good anyway.

    This would be a great venue for slide-seat rowers to showcase their skills and it may help develop some national quality rowers.

  • Bill
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    My wife and I really enjoy Regatta Day when we visit
    my daughter and her Newfoundland
    husband on Patrick Street. I heard a
    rumor that he and his company in
    Mount Pearl might be surprise winners
    this year. Don't tell him that I told you.
    I wonder where I got my email address !

  • John Smyth
    July 01, 2010 - 20:12

    I would just like to clarify that there are opportunities for rowers of all ages to row slide seat. Many of them train on Quidi Vidi Lake every day and will travel to events on the mainland this summer to compete. These rowers are in their 40's, and 50's.

    I will remain out of the fixed seat vs slide seat debate, I just want to make sure everyone knows that slide seat is open to all age groups and is a great way to stay in shape over the summer months.

    Please know the facts about a sport before you post comments as it might discourage people from giving it a try.

    Thanks

  • Paula
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    The Regatta is a great tradition and it can remain the same for as long as people want it too. However, the future of rowing is best demonstrated by the young men and women in Newfoundland and Labrador with a passion for the slide seat shell, which is used universally on a straight course. Regattas around the world are in the slide seat shell, particularly in Canada Games, University Games, International Competitions, and the Olympics to name a few. If the Regatta committee is down 10% in registrations, why not use the time available to showcase our own provincial, national, and international medal-winning slide seat rowers who presently train on Quidi Vidi Lake on a daily basis in singles, doubles, fours and eights. If you want to get the Regatta participation up, show our young athletes where the future in rowing is. The slide seat competitor can qualify for university / college athletic scholarships. And, you can cross-train for either shell and develop the talent to row both. How about we challenge the Regatta Committee to get together with Rowing Newfoundland and Labrador on this????

  • Brian
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Slide seat rowing is just that and the Royal St. John's Regatta is fixed seat rowing. Why change, slide seat rowers have their own events.

    I don't agree that the future of rowing is best demonstrated by the young men and women in Newfoundland and Labrador with a passion for the slide seat shell.

    There are no events for older rowers in slide seat and with fixed seat you can row and actually compete for as long as you want.

  • Ken
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Hopefully they all quit and we can finally have a sensible long weekend in August to enjoy instead of that excuse of holiday they call regatta day

  • Fa
    July 01, 2010 - 19:44

    I think many people agree that this holiday should be held on a Friday. If for some reason it's cancelled, at least they then have two more weekend days available to re-schedule. That way, most people can still attend.

    Traditionally, if it was cancelled to the following day, Thursday, the public's interest is entirely lost in the whole event.