Advertisement

Annual Head of the Rock River rowing event draws hundreds

The event was cancelled the last three years due to the weather and then the pandemic but the competition is back in the Forest city.
Published: Oct. 10, 2021 at 7:31 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Hundreds or rowers came out for the annual Head of the Rock Regatta along the Rock River.

The event was cancelled the last three years due to the weather and then the pandemic but the competition is back in the Forest city.

“I think this will pass and we’ll be able to get back on the water,” said Regatta Director Jane Johnson.

After a rainy start to the day, Johnson says rowers weren’t letting that dampen their spirits.

“Love the sport, love for the city to see this sport and bring this to Rockford and have all the people down here today and the athletes has just been phenomenal after not having it for three years.”

Johnson says there were more than 400 entries in the race. From high school clubs to college teams, people of all ages were out on the Rock River.

“This is my first regatta, it’s my first year rowing so I’m excited, nervous, but I’m glad that it’s here so I know the course and I’m ready,” said rowing member Carsyn Erickson.

Erickson and her friend Abigail Daniele are new to rowing, participating in their first Head of the Rock Regatta. While their heat was postponed because of the weather, they were both eager to get on the water after waiting.

“It’s just so great being surrounded by all these other rowers and getting to see them compete, and then just to be able to be in this environment with them and learn from them, and just to get to talk to some of them, like our masters too, and my whole family’s come out to this so we’re really excited,” Erickson said.

Both girls said no matter what place they got, they were happy to be there.

“I just love being on the water, it’s fun to work with our team, it’s fun to work with Carsyn and our double, and I don’t know I just always keep coming back,” said Daniele.

Director Johnson has participated in nearly 30 rowing regatta’s but she says Sunday’s was extra special and is already looking forward to next year.

With 442 entries in Sunday’s race, there were well over a thousand rowers in attendance.

Copyright 2021 WIFR. All rights reserved.