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May 4, 2001

Regatta Draws Best of the West

Sometimes a sporting event becomes an "EVENT." That's why fans from nearly 30 universities will flock to California State University, Sacramento's Aquatic Center this weekend for the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships.

Teams representing the best rowers in the West will compete at the University's Lake Natoma facility from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday, May 12-13. The championship is one of the largest of its kind. It's the final regatta of the West Coast collegiate racing season and the winner will move on to the national championships in June.

But as good as the competition is, much of the action takes place on the banks. About 30 hospitality tents, representing rowing powerhouses like Washington and UC Berkeley as well as up-and-comers like CSUS, line the shore during the weekend. It's become such a "see-and-be-seen" occasion that a few years back, the University of Southern California insisted on hosting their tent - even though their school hadn't sent a team.

Another reason for the race's appeal could be its ivy-covered history. For all of today's sleek equipment and highly conditioned athletes, rowing has old-school ties. The first American intercollegiate sports competition was a rowing race between Harvard and Yale in 1852. The Boat Race, the legendary Oxford vs. Cambridge rowing regatta, dates back to 1829. Here in Sacramento, CSUS has been hosting the championships since 1983.

Admission to the championships is $6 per day. On-site parking is available for an additional $6.

More information is available by calling the CSUS Aquatic Center at (916) 985-7239. Media assistance is available by calling the CSUS public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.


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