If you’ve never attended a regatta at the West Side Rowing Club, it’s probably because you were not aware of any of the big rowing races. Lucky for you, I’m giving you fair warning that the club’s premiere rowing event is coming up in May, and it’s your chance to grab a seat waterside.
West Side’s largest regatta of the year, the annual John Bennett Regatta, is a 1,500-meter time trial event held on the Black Rock Canal. The race draws 200 rowing teams together to compete, as well as over 1,000 spectators to witness the excitement. From the Ferry Street Lift Bridge, racers row south to the finish line, situated directly in front of the West Side Rowing Club, where fans cheer on their teams from the front lawn in front of the club.
Local teams participating in the regatta are the West Side Juniors Club team, as well as five scholastic teams: City Honors School, Mount St. Mary’s Academy, Nardin Academy, Nichols School, and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.
These types of rowing events help to bring the community down to the waterfront to enjoy more than just rowing races. The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fontana Boathouse is one of the city’s newest architecturally significant destinations. Combined with the Doc Schaab Boathouse, Buffalo is able to tout the West Side Rowing Club Campus as one of the leading training centers in the US. Come on down and join in on the fun, and be a part of Buffalo’s incredible rowing legacy in the process.
All West Side Rowing Club regattas are open to the public and free of charge. Handicap accessible facilities are available, as well as refreshment concessions and boathouse memorabilia. Events begin at 9 am and continue throughout the afternoon. For additional information, check out the WSRC website.