More than 35 collegiate men's and women's teams from New York State, the East Coast, and Canada will compete Sunday, Oct. 8, in the Head of the Genesee Invitational Regatta. A major date on the fall crew racing calendar and one of the free events during Rochester's River Romance Weekend, the regatta attracts more than 800 athletes and thousands of spectators to Genesee Valley Park.
Now in its 18th year, the regatta (formerly known as the Stonehurst Capital Invitational Regatta) is co-hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Rochester, Rochester Business Alliance, and Genesee Waterways Center. Races begin at 9 a.m. with viewing areas all along the east side of the river, just south of the Elmwood Avenue bridge. At 11:30 a.m., the collegiate teams take a break and high school rowing teams from the Rochester and Buffalo areas will race.
Sponsor tents line the main walkway through Genesee Valley Park and there are free musical performances, jugglers, balloon artists, and others activities for children. Food can be purchased. Main sponsors of the event include Crowne Plaza Hotel, The Pike Company Inc., Nixon Peabody LLP, LeChase Construction Services LLC, Dunkin Donuts, and the Monroe County Sports Commission.
Rowing is about teamwork, and for the second year teams of employees from Rochester area corporations will race down the Genesee. During the noon hour, The Pike Company Corporate Challenge will feature Pike Company (the 2005 inaugural winner), LeChase Construction, Harris Interactive, Manning and Napier, and ME Engineering. Awards will be presented to corporate winners at 1 p.m.
Afternoon races will get under way at 1:20 p.m. with the collegiate winners determined by 3 p.m. with their own awards ceremony. The morning races are long distance head races to the finish line near the Interfaith Chapel on the University of Rochester campus; afternoon races are sprint races when teams compete based on their performance in the morning. Crew teams from RIT and Rochester will be in a field from Harvard, Yale, Brown, Florida Tech, Marietta, and other universities and colleges.
Free parking is available on University of Rochester lots with Park Lot closest to the racing. Handicapped parking is available in Trustee Lot with a shuttle running from Trustee Lot to Genesee Valley Park. For more information, visit www.headofthegenesee.com.