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Why Race to the Regatta?

Rowers from China are coming to Philadelphia this weekend  (Oct 27-28) to race in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta, one of the largest and most prestigious regattas in the country.
The HOSR even has a race with a $10,000 purse, known as the Philadelphia Gold Challenge Cup. The four best male and female single scullers from around the world will compete.  They’re coming from Norway, New Zealand, Croatia and Ireland. Watch it at 1.15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.  (To view the races see my note at bottom of this blog. )
Another important race is the Lotman Cup, a trifecta of rowing, in which the single sculler who has done best in three regattas wins the prize. That’s  Saturday at 12.30 p.m.

Helping paint river mural

A fun event on Sunday at 12.30 p.m. is the unveiling of two new murals under the Girard Ave. Bridge.   One honors women. The other celebrates youth rowing. (Did you know there are some 40 high schools in the region with rowing programs?)
I actually helped paint one of the murals last month. How the Mural Arts Project goes from painting  tiny portions of a huge mural on dozens and dozens of large pieces of paper and transforming these to a unified, waterproof mural on a wall is a mystery to me. 

A few facts about the regatta and why it’s worth going:
*This is the 48th year of the Head of the Schuylkill. Hey, it’s Philly history!
*Watching  9,500 competitors, including some Olympians, who when they’re not racing will be walking around looking very buff. 
*Besides the Chinese, others are racing from countries such as England, Canada, Lithuania, Australia, Uganda, Germany and Afghanistan.
(And you can’t even get yourself down to the river?)
 The full name of the regatta is actually the Thomas Eakins Head of the Schuylkill Regatta because this great American painter, who lived a few blocks from the river,  loved rowing and was himself a rower. Here’s a blow up of part of a famous painting he did which hangs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. He signed his name on his boat.

Thomas Eakins in his own 1871 painting, Champion Single Scull at the Met in NYC

There are great t-shirts and other regalia sold by the Three Angels, where the major action will be.

Last but not least, I’ll be in the Festival tent signing my book,  Boathouse Row

Here’s how to get there:

*Either walk or bike or jog from Eakins Oval/the Art Museum up to the Three Angels (1.5 miles) and the festival tent. Or go a bit further to the Grandstands.
*Drive up or down Kelly Drive, following diversion routes to parking areas above the river. Parking is $15 cash only. The HOSR Regatta Shuttle (yellow school buses) will run continuously from parking lots to regatta. You can also hail the bus along its route. See the map