Hundreds of row boats and trailers lined Riverfront Parkway for the 8th annual rowing Regatta Friday.
More than 9600 competitors from twenty seven different states will be competing. Eighty five percent of the participants are from high school, college teams, and fifteen percent are independent or master level. Along with the 9600 competitors, the Hooch added a new event to this years races. Doug Beville, Assistant Director Head for the Hooch said, "This year we have an adaptive rowing program which is for physically and or mentally challenged individuals. I believe we have about 18 competitors."
All competitors will row 5000 meters, which is equivalent to 3.2 miles. One of the great things about the hooch is that its the largest site Regatta. Beville said, "That means there are more rowers that launch and recover from the same site than any other regatta. We launch and retrieve a rowing shell every 12 seconds right here at Ross's Landing."
We found one rower from Orlando, Florida that says the sport takes lots of practice. Michael Smith, Orlando Florida High School Rower said, "Our practices are 3 hours longs, 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday. We spend as much time as we can out on boats in the water."
Head for the Hooch also established a charity, along with the Chattanooga Community Foundation in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Bevillesaid, "You can donate at the Head of the Hooch. All of the money that we receive will be tax deductible through the community foundation and we will give that money to rowers in the northeast who have been affected by hurricane sandy."
You can watch the events for free. The best spots are on the Walnut street bridge, and just about anywhere on the Riverwalk. The races start at 8:30 Saturday morning.