SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Over 100 rowers participated in the 18th annual Rockrimmon Regatta on Saturday.

The regatta launched from the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club (PVRC) in Springfield’s North End on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to a news release sent to 22News from the PVRC. The rowing event on the Connecticut River was free for spectators at North Riverfront Park.

Twenty-seven New England rowing clubs participated in the race. The course traveled north from North Riverfront Park in a three-mile “stake race” on the Connecticut River in rowing shells. The stake race format means that rowers will race 1.5 miles upstream, turn around a buoy, which is called the stake, and continue racing 1.5 miles back downstream to the finish line.

The Rockrimmon Regatta began back in 2005 as a celebration of the Connecticut River along with the Pioneer Valley Yacht Club’s 50th anniversary. A small number of rowers decided to add in some friendly competition, and that legacy has now grown into a three-mile stake race, with the first prize being a medal and an actual steak from The Munich Haus. Second-place finishers will receive a pie, provided by Table Talk Pies.

22News spoke with the Executive Director of the event about how this competitive drive brings a community together.

“It’s wonderful to see that both the people return year after year because they compare how they did in the past to how they are doing today,” said Ben Quick. “… Share the word with their friends, new participants, new competitors which is just a wonderful feeling.”

Food was available for purchase for attendees and the proceeds will go to support the operations of the Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club, which is a nonprofit community boathouse that has been serving guests and residents of Springfield with healthy riverfront recreation since 2007.

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