Safety First: Classic Philadelphia Regatta Makes Late Move to New Jersey River

Safety concerns spur relocation of scholastic Stotesbury Cup Regatta from Schuylkill River to Cooper River

A boat race that bills itself as the largest high school regatta in the world has been moved from Philadelphia to South Jersey because of concerns that recent and upcoming storms could endanger participants.

The 92nd annual Stotesbury Cup Regatta was to be run Friday and Saturday on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, but it will now be held on the Cooper River in Camden County.

Schuylkill Navy’s Regatta Leadership Team says heavy rains that occurred over the past few days, combined with forecasts calling for even more rain, would cause the Schuylkill River to rise to levels that may preclude safe racing on Friday and Saturday.

"We are in the third century of conducting our events, sometimes under very challenging conditions," Schuylkill Navy Commodore Paul Horvat said. "Our paramount responsibility is the safety of our athletes. We are fortunate to have an excellent alternative venue available on the Cooper River."

The annual race attracts almost 6,000 rowers from across the nation and Canada, according to organizers. This year's event has 195 schools entered with 975 boats overall.

The Camden County Boathouse welcomed the event, the largest in its history.

"We have many, many rowing events here," boathouse executive director Jamie stack said. "It is a wonderful opportunity to host the world’s largest high school regatta. As soon as the Stotesbury organizers called, we knew that we would be proud to help our friends. That is what rowers do."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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