Head of the Ohio Regatta a showcase for Pittsburgh rowing
More than 600 entries will take to the Allegheny River for the Head of the Ohio Regatta on Saturday and Sunday in downtown Pittsburgh.
Race director Matt Logue of host Three Rivers Rowing said it will be the largest turnout since 2004.
“We are expecting a slightly larger regatta than last year,” Logue said.
Fifty-eight rowing clubs from eight states and the District of Columbia will compete. Masters, college, open and most adaptive rowing will be on Saturday, followed by high school and junior rowing on Sunday.
Events are scheduled from 7:40 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Sunday.
Rowers will race downstream on a 2.6-mile course from the top of Washington’s Landing to just before Point State Park and the Ft. Duquesne Bridge. They will pass under eight bridges.
In a head race, crews start single-file with a small gap between them and race the clock to the finish line, attempting to pass as many boats as possible.
People can view the race from either shore for most of the course, or from many of the bridges.
Gold, silver and bronze medals will be awarded to all events.
Three Rivers Junior Rowing coach Matt Grau said the regatta, which is in its 33rd year, is a showcase for Pittsburgh rowing.
“Our team gets really excited to compete against such a strong range of teams,” he said.
Central Catholic coach Jay Hammond also said it is a showcase.
“Racing in our hometown is always good,” he said.
North Allegheny graduate Zach Petronic, the 2019 U.S. national champion in men’s intermediate single scull, will miss the race because he is training at the USRowing High Performance Center in Oklahoma City, but has put together an open 8+ for friends, mostly Pitt alumni.
“We love getting together and just going out to have fun,” said Petronic, a former Pitt rower. “We don’t practice the lineup, which makes it that much more fun.”
Hammond said his team planned a time trial before the event.
“Normally, we tend to practice upstream towards the Highland Park Bridge, rather than downstream towards the Point,” he said.
Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.