The song goes “row, row, row your boat” but the rowers in Des Moines this weekend won’t be rowing “gently.” The 21st annual Des Moines River Regatta is drawing some 600 rowers from all across the Midwest. Julia Martinusen is organizing the event. The bigger races will involve more than 20 boats, or shells, taking part, each with between four and eight rowers. Racing begins at dawn on Saturday and runs until sunset with 62 scheduled races between the 30-some teams. Martinusen says the races are exciting for the competitors — and almost as thrilling for the spectators.Teams are coming from colleges, clubs and cities all over the region, from both Drake and the University of Iowa, and from other states, including: Colorado, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri. Unlike a foot race, the boats don’t all line up and take off. Martinusen explains how the shells compete. They start one after another, every ten seconds, using synchronized clocks at the start and finish. Teams are starting at the Des Moines Botanical Center and finishing at Prospect Park, rowing a three-mile course up the Des Moines River. There is no admission fee for spectators.
You are here: / / Regatta rows down the Des Moines River