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What Old is New Again For The Grand Rapids Rowing Association

22 Jul 2014 10:16 PM | Deleted user

With the 2014 US Rowing Masters National Championships rapidly approaching, Grand Rapids Rowing Association takes a moment to sweep back in time.

In March of 1921, The Grand Rapids Progress, published by the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce, announces a big rowing regatta to be hosted by the city of Grand Rapids.

Shown on page 2 in the following article.

Grand Rapids Secures Big Rowing Regatta

The Grand Rapids Boat and Canoe Club and the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce joined in extending an invitation to the Central States Rowing Association to hold its 1921 regatta in this city this summer.

Rowing teams from Grand Rapids have participated in these annual regattas during the past several years, winning several trophies and as the river north of the Boat and Canoe Club house is on of the best rowing courses in the United States a successful regatta is assured if held at Grand Rapids.

The invitation was taken to St. Louis personally by president Clare Fox of the Grand Rapids Boat and Canoe Club and Herbert S. Conlon of the Grand Rapids Press and a former medal winner in the Central States regattas.

Chairman Conlon being an older timer with the blades and knowing the necessary requirements for a regatta went to the St. Louis meeting armed with photographs showing the course from every conceivable angle, the club house and its surroundings and as a result competing cities threw up their hands and joined in the unanimous vote that Grand Rapids will be honored with the 1921 regattas.

President Hadwiger of the Central States Rowing Association, who recently visited Grand Rapids, presented a report of his visit in which he commended the local club very highly. As a result, Grand Rapids will be the center of on of the biggest and most interesting sporting events to take place this summer in this section or throughout the country for that manner and must assume her full responsibility toward making the Central States Rowing Association fell that the Grand Rapids sponsors were not over enthusiastic as to Grand Rapids right to have the regatta held here.

Click to download article pdf.

The August, 1921 Club News would later recap the event on pages 2-6 of its magazine.

The Central States Amateur Rowing Association’s Annual Regatta was held under the auspices of the Grand Rapids Boat and Canoe Club on the Grand River at Grand Rapids, Michigan Friday and Saturday, July 8th and 9th, 1921.

It was the best regatta in the history of the Association. The weather was fine, the entries were big, the crews were of high class, the races were keenly contested and the attendance was large. 94 crews rowed, 45 on Junior Day and 49 on Senior Day. It is stated that this is the largest rowing regatta held in the United States since the war…

Click to download full article.


It is a great time to remember Grand Rapids lengthy rowing history as the USRowing Masters National Championships prepare to roll into town on August 14-17. By honoring the clubs that have come before us, we gain an appreciation for the hard work, dedication and passion for those who choose to set a boat.

Whether it’s almost a century ago or current day, the river will forever remember, as should we, that Grand Rapids will always put on a great show.

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