Oak Ridge Welcomes the 2016 Dogwood Junior Regatta
Oak Ridge, TN – Junior (or under 19yrs) rowing has grown by leaps and bounds in the southeastern United States over the past 10 years. Whether due to the extensive opportunities for rowing college scholarships or the general improvement in quantity and quality of rowing programs offered, junior rowing is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing sports in the nation.
This weekend, Oak Ridge will welcome about 2000 junior rowers from all over the southeast and Midwest to compete in the Dogwood Junior Regional Regatta. The regatta is one of the largest in the southeast. A crew’s performance at the event will be considered heavily for seeding at the USRowing Regional Championship where rowers compete to qualify for the Junior National Championships.
“If you’re a junior rower (from the southeast) you’ll want to be in Oak Ridge this weekend. It’s going to be the best opportunity for crews to test their speed prior to the regional championships. This regatta will inform coaches on how to train for the weeks leading to regionals and can be the difference between qualifying for nationals or not” explains Shannon Moore, Head Coach of Atomic Junior Rowing in Oak Ridge.
Rowing races will begin at 7:30am on Saturday and continue throughout the weekend ending at 5pm on Sunday. The race distance is 2000m with the start line at the, soon to open, Calhoun’s Restaurant and the finish line at the UT-Battelle Rowing Tower. Coaches and spectators can follow the racing along the Melton Lake greenway or find a place to sit on the grass in Melton Lake Park. There is no admission fee for the event! Refreshments and souvenirs will be for sale on the peninsula in Melton Lake Park. Parking will be limited to the Melton Lake Dr. roadside.
There will be a detour for non-local traffic at Melton Lake Drive and Emory Valley to reduce congestion and increase pedestrian safety. The Melton Lake Greenway will be open as usual but users should be cautious as there will be considerably more activity on the section that parallels the rowing racecourse. The parking lot and boat ramp at Melton Lake Park will be closed to the public on Saturday and Sunday.
Oak Ridge Rowing Association (www.orra.org) is the local host of the regatta and can be contacted for more information. Explore Oak Ridge (www.exploreoakridge.com) will be on site to provide visitors with information about Oak Ridge.