Canoe Regatta

By on September 12, 2008

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School is back in session. Football is in the atmosphere. The days are getting shorter and the feeling of fall is in the air. It is time, time for the Canoe Regatta.

September 14 will mark the 35th annual Canoe Regatta, and over 350 students are expected to compete. Participants will gather at 11:00 a.m. in the Red Barn for lunch catered by Fazoli’s. Then it’s off to McNeely Lake at 2:00 p.m. to let the races begin.

Any student can compete, and no organization or group is limited to the amount of canoes it can race. There will be men’s, women’s, and co-rec divisions. Teams of two will slice and dice around buoys to the finish line, and the two fastest times from each organization will be added together to determine the winner.

“It is such a great event because anyone can win,” John Smith, the assistant director of intramural sports, said. “None of the competitors are much more experienced than the others. It really is anyone’s game.”

The Regatta is extremely unique in many ways. For one, it is the only co-ed intramural event that has more female participants than male. In addition, the fact that the number of teams per organization is limitless and the participants’ attitude that anyone can win lead to an atmosphere that is just as much social as it is competitive.

“Almost everyone is simply looking to have a good time,” Smith said. “One year, Phi Kappa Tau’s canoe veered off course and disappeared. They returned wearing pirate clothes and had turned their boat into a pirate ship.”

Not only is this event unique in regards to the University of Louisville’s intramural sports, but it is also unique in regards to colleges across America.

“As far as we know, we are the only university in America to hold an event like this,” Smith said.

If any student is interested in competing, they can submit a roster by 4:30 p.m. on September 8. All canoes, life jackets, paddles, and other equipment is provided. A minimum of four people to a group is required (two teams of two), but there is no maximum.

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