Release Date: Friday, October 5th 2012
Serious Rowing in the Desert
E College Times
By Raffy Ermac
Usually, when one mentions the word “regatta,” images of boating in Europe, paired with leisurely, slow-paced activity along the river come to mind. But in the case of the fast-paced 10th Annual Hot Head Regatta, it is quite the opposite.
As one of the only fairly large bodies of water in the barren desert that is the Valley of the Sun, Tempe Town Lake will play venue to the Hot Head Regatta, an event that showcases all of the rowing and boating talent this community has to offer.
Started in 2002, the Hot Head Regatta has been hosted by the nonprofit Tempe Rowers Association for the last four years with the goal to foster competition within the Southwest while sharing the unique experience of racing in the desert. The 5,000-meter race is requires just one lap around the lake with a focus on speed. However, the proceeds from the event are about preserving the rowing community.
“We benefit other rowing groups on the lake, and whatever we make from events like the Hot Head Regatta goes back into rowing,” said Kathy Moum, president of the TRA.
The fundraising goal is part of the reason Arizona’s Hot Head Regatta is held at Tempe Town Lake, where plenty of non-rowers can enjoy an all-inclusive morning of food and regatta.
“We’ve invited all of the lake user groups to participate,” said Moum, who started rowing when Tempe Town Lake was first built. She describes the regatta as a veritable fall festival of water enthusiasts, including dragon boats, outrigger canoes, kayaks and paddleboards.
“It’s going to be so much fun for everyone to see,” said Moum.
The TRA has a bigger race, held in March, called the “Desert Sprints” race, which attracts regatta races from all over the country. The TRA hopes to promote more awareness for that event as well, having already successfully garnered nearly 500 participants for it in years past.
Local competitors in this year’s race include Tempe Town Lake Rowing Club, Brophy Prep, Tempe Junior Crew, Xavier Prep, Rio Salado Rowing Club and ASU’s rowing team. Paddling teams include the Arizona Gila Dragons, Desert Mountain Paddlers, Creed SUP, SuperSUP, Southwest Kayaks and Team Arizona outriggers club.
10th Annual Hot Head Regatta, Tempe Town Lake, SRP Town Lake Marina, 1 E. Gilbert Drive, Tempe, 480.350.5200, temperowersassociation.com, Saturday, October 6, 7 a.m., free