TAMPA, Fla. - The Tampa Mayor’s Cup Regatta is one of the pre-eminent early season rowing events, featuring many top crews and athletes from around the country. With its inaugural event in 2008, these races serve as a key event for many top universities training in Florida during their spring semester breaks.
Tom Feaster, President of The Stewards Foundation and member of the United States Rowing Board of Directors commented, “while Tampa has long been home to spring training for many top universities and Olympic crews, this spectator-oriented event presents a great opportunity for the community to witness competition at the highest level.” Feaster continued, “with the finish line near Tampa General, there will be numerous great vantage points on Davis Islands for spectators to bring lawn chairs, blankets, and just enjoy our March weather, while watching the races with friends and family”.
According to Jamie Myers, Regatta Director, spectators will be treated to some serious competition among the ‘crews to beat’ led by defending champion Temple University, a perennial powerhouse with numerous national championships. The level of competition has attracted other competitors from around the country, including, the University of Tennessee at Chattooga, Marietta, Jacksonville, and Stetson. In addition to the collegiate rowers, this years Regatta will include competition in both Dragon Boats and Paddle Board categories.
Myers noted that, “Downtown Tampa is such a popular rowing venue with both competitors and spectators that the Tampa Mayor’s Cup Regatta could easily become one of the most popular events in the U.S.” Myers is not alone however in promoting the venue as the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, The City of Tampa, Tampa Downtown Partnership, and Tampa Bay and Company, have all provided significant support.
While the race is free for spectators, sponsorship proceeds go to the Stewards Foundation, which supports inner-city community rowing programs and numerous emerging high school rowing programs. William “Bill” Krusen, a local business leader and philanthropist is Chairman of the Stewards Foundation. Krusen stated that, “collectively, these programs have made available an elite athletic sport, numerous scholarship opportunities, and the principals of teamwork to hundreds of our of community’s youngsters and economically disadvantaged students.”
Feaster, The Stewards President represents The City of Tampa and the Stewards Foundation on a special national task force on access, affordability, and diversity within the sport.
Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio added, “we are very supportive of the efforts to make this sport more accessible to the kids in our community and we are proud to host many of rowing’s most talented young athletes in Tampa. City government is always working on ways to make our riverfront more accessible to the people and this regatta will help highlight our urban waterfront.”
The races will take place on March 14 in Downtown Tampa’s Seddon Channel between the south tip of Harbour Island north to Tampa General Hospital on Davis Islands. Spectator areas include Tampa General Hospital Park adjacent to the new parking garage, HCC Corporate Train Center, and Majorie Park among others.
For all information on the 2009 Tampa Mayor’s Cup log on to www.tampamayorscup.com!