Head of the Pend Oreille Regatta building on success

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PRIEST RIVER — The Head of the Pend Oreille Regatta (HOP) will celebrate its eighth Regatta this year on Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1 in Priest River, with practice rowing sessions occurring on Friday the 29th. Building on the momentum of the 2016 success on the Priest River by expanding to three possible days of rowing, including a recreational row on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

This year, rowers will have opportunities to test their skills in two different racing events at the Saturday Regatta. The morning event is a repeat of the 1,700-meter sprint head race that was staged last year. A new event, known as a stake race, has been added Saturday afternoon.

The stake race is a relay race. Teams of shells will race in sprint fashion on a 500 meter course, which has a 360 degree turn. Each shell will row 500 meters; turn around and row back to the start line where the second shell for the team will then row the same course. Two teams will compete simultaneously in what is known as sprint racing. The relay and turn around a stake adds a twist to the sprint race.

The Regatta will be well attended as several crews have already committed to the event. The Regatta will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Mud Hole, with the head race followed by a BBQ at 12:30 p.m. and then the stake races at 3 p.m. Crews are invited to join PORPA on Sunday, from 7 a.m. to noon to experience the Pend Oreille recreational row.

n Junior rowing a highlight of HOP

From the inception of the Head of the Pend Oreille Regatta (HOP), junior rowers have been a visible group of participants. In the first year, there are memories of the young Cd’A single competitor filled with excitement as he raced his couch for the first time.

In 2011, there were five shells with 21 competitors from one organization, Coeur d’ Alene Rowing. In 2015, the HOP welcomed juniors rowers from the Palouse and Rockies Rowing Club. In 2016, PORPA added a junior and the quickly formed international mixed eight took first place. All total, there were eight junior shells entered in last year’s HOP.

The HOP 2017 will welcome juniors from the Olympic Peninsula Rowing Association (OPRA) of Port Angeles, WA. ORPA plans to bring six shells. Rockies Rowing Club, Coeur d’Alene juniors and PORPA junior, Quinn Barnwell, are all on board again this year. The POPRA addition will make this a very significant platform for junior rowing in the Inland Northwest. So significant is the presence of junior rowers, collegiate scouts are giving serious consideration to being present at the regatta.

More information can be found on the Head of the Pend Oreille Regatta Facebook, Twitter and the website: HOPRegatta.org.

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