The Invitational will include dozens of races from all different skill levels: varsity, junior varsity, freshmen and novice. This is the 15th year that Saratoga Rowing Association is hosting the event, which has seen exponential growth in terms of how many teams descend on Saratoga Springs for the event. The growth has made this event one of the biggest in the country, and the Rowing Association says it is thanks in part to a team effort.
“Part of it is our location and our venue is really nice,” said Eric Catalano, executive director and head varsity coach for Saratoga Rowing Association. “We’ve been hosting races here for a long time, so our organizing committee has a pretty good handle on how to run an efficient regatta.”
Catalano says the inclusion of teams from such bustling cities like Boston or Philadelphia has helped the event grow almost as much as the elite level of competition they brought to the regatta.
“We saw the biggest jump in attendance when some of the fastest crews in the country started attending, and we attracted some of the best of Canada, and the surrounding U.S. states, and people want to go where the best are going,” said Catalano.
The event doesn’t have to be for rowing enthusiasts and their families. The races can be viewed by the public all weekend, free of charge. It could be a nice way to get out of the house this weekend and spend some time at the marina with your family. The combination of scenery and athleticism is what Catalano says makes this such a special event.
“Rowing is a very aesthetically pleasing sport, but a lot of people don’t realize the amount of work and energy expended by the rowers. It’s like cross-country skiing or swimming, those sports require a lot from the athlete. They look so fluid and beautiful you forget how much hard work goes into making it happen.”
Catalano adds that the regatta is always a big hit with the kids, who get quite the kick out of watching the boats glide up and down the river.