ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — “Rockford has a jewel here with the river. We have this great place to showcase this rowing program.”
For Rockford YMCA Rowing Club coordinator Jane Johnson, the Head of the Rock Regatta is the crown jewel of rowing season. The club hosted the rowing event on Sunday, bringing together some of the best talent from across the Midwest, along with over 5,000 spectators.
The one-day event consists of high school teams, college clubs, and older adults all rowing 3.1 miles along the Rock Rive, eventually finishing at the YMCA of Rock River Valley.
Preparing for such a large-scale event isn’t easy, but Johnson says the work is well worth it. “It’s hectic, it’s busy,” said Johnson. “But it’s fun, and we work for this for six months, at least, getting this put together. It’s nice to walk up the bike path and see all the spectators enjoying this.”
The Head of the Rock Regatta is one of the largest events of it’s kind in the area, with over 400 entries and 37 different clubs racing on the river.
Tents and vendors also lined the river to satisfy the many spectators dotting the race course.