TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
OKLAHOMA CITY – In the fall of 2000, Oklahoma City University Coach Mike Knopp and the first OCU rowers launched the university’s new club sport on the North Canadian River at Lake Overholser.
In just a decade, the OCU program has grown to include varsity teams in both sweep rowing and sculling as well as canoe/kayak, the last two of which are the first of their kind in the country. Now, OCU athletes train alongside Olympic hopefuls from US Rowing and USA Canoe/Kayak.
The seventh annual Head of the Oklahoma Regatta, which returns Oct. 7 to 10, has become one of the metro area’s largest annual events and one of the best regattas in the country with ivy league teams participating every year. The Head of the Oklahoma introduced nighttime racing to the world. This year’s regatta returns to its original location in the area now known as the Boathouse District, downtown on the Oklahoma River. A focal point of this year’s event will be the christening of the Devon Boathouse, Home of OCU Rowing and Canoe/Kayak, during the blu party Oct. 7. The new $10 million state-of-the-art Devon Boathouse also is the headquarters for the OKC National High Performance Center.
When Knopp launched the OCU rowing program, it was the first of its kind in central Oklahoma. Following success as a club program, OCU elevated it to varsity status in 2003. The new program enjoyed immediate success and began attracting excellent student athletes from across the country, Knopp said.
“The momentum of OCU’s rowing programs and the tremendous support for enhancements at the Oklahoma River during the last few years are nothing short of spectacular,” Knopp said. “Oklahoma City has become a premier destination for both world-class rowing and kayaking. We are building the finest boathouse district in the world and the future holds tremendous promise for athletes and Oklahoma City.”
For more information about the 2010 Head of the Oklahoma Regatta, visit www.headoftheoklahoma.com .