Springfield Rockrimmon Regatta - Stake Race

  • Hosted By: Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club

The Springfield Riverfront Regatta began in 2005 as a celebration of the river.  In conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Pioneer Valley Yacht Club, a number of rowers got together to open their venue up to Northeast rowers for a little fun and competition.  Ever since this first event, this celebration has continued to thrive with local rowers hosting the event and showcasing their home course.

The Pioneer Valley Riverfront Club is a young 501(c)3 charitable organization intended to bring people to the riverfront and partake in healthy lifestyle choices.  With various rowing programs for youth and adults as it's base, PVRC is poised for a great future and has expanded into other disciplines such as Dragon Boating and bicycle rentals.  In 2012, the City of Springfield announced that PVRC had won the bid to run programs from the boathouse at North Riverfront Park in the North End of Springfield, MA.  The boathouse structure was built in 1901 as the home of the Rockrimmon Boat Club, but it has hosted no rowing programs since the 1970's.  The PVRC, Putnam Vocational High School and many volunteers are in the midst of "overhauling" the building to help it accommodate the growing programs.

2011 and 2012 proved to be somewhat challenging years for our regatta.  The weather forced cancellation one year and proved rather treacherous the next.  With the support of our diehard participants, volunteers and staff, we are excited to announce a "NEW & IMPROVED" Springfield Riverfront event... the Rockrimmon Stake Race.  Harkening back to the roots of great programs and historic races, Springfield is proud to dust-off a traditional method of racing.  The 3-mile stake race brings many advantages to our event and the new venue is incredibly conducive to a top-notch experience.  The old course had a particularly sharp turn near the inflow of the Westfield River.  In heavy wind or strong current events, that 'mid-point' of the race proved generally quite challenging (and, unable to be viewed from shore).  The new 1.5 mile stretch that will be raced in both directions has a couple of bridges, but is quite straight and presents few (if any) natural challenges.  In addition, the entire race course runs parallel to a riverfront bikepath where friends and family are welcome to ride and see the boats from multiple vantage points.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  So, in bringing the Stake Race format to Springfield, we also intend to 'borrow' another unique feature of a little race in Putney, VT.  We will be awarding products to the race winners instead of standard ribbons/medals.  These products are locally sourced and help us honor the rich resources and beauty of the Pioneer Valley.  It also helps the fastest racers truly 'savor' their performance.

The North Riverfront Park (NRP) staging area and boathouse is located at 121 West Street, Springfield.  In addition to NRP, the best viewing of the race course will be from the North End Bridge, Memorial Bridge, Connecticut River Walk & Bikeway, or Riverfront Park.

For additional information about PVRC, feel free to visit www.pvriverfront.org