Record numbers at Griffith Paradise Regatta

Hundreds of spectators and competitors from around Australia are expected at Griffith University’s Paradise Regatta at Coomera Lakes Regatta Course, on Sunday (August 4).

The annual rowing festival promises perfect conditions in a great new Gold Coast location.

“This year is going to be one of our best with many more school students than ever before competing,” said the regatta’s organiser and president of the Griffith University Surfers Paradise Rowing Club Carolin Morahan.

“Over 200 participants have registered for the regatta which is fantastic and gives credence to the value of the relocation of this event for the whole of the Gold Coast and most importantly the participation of schools.

A rapidly growing sport

“Rowing is a rapidly growing sport on the Coast, particularly amongst our schools where the competition is getting fierce! Anyone can enjoy the sport and this year we have people right up into their sixties competing, so age is no barrier.

“Griffith hosting this free event is a big plus for the university. We have competitors from as far afield as James Cook University in Far North Queensland to Launceston, Tasmania.”

Clubs set to compete this year include Maroochy, UQ, Tweed, Toowong, Tattersalls, Sunshine Coast, Richmond, Commercial, Centenary, Melbourne Uni, Townsville, James Cook Uni, Sydney , Coomera , Bond Uni, Melbourne Uni Boat Club.

The schools line-up includes: TLC, Somerset, All Hallows, CAC, Kingscliff HS, Varsity College, Canterbury, Noosa Christian, St Michael’s, Immanual, Mathew Flinders, Gregory Terrace, BBC, Lindisfarne, Brisbane SHS, All Saints, QLD Academy of Health, St Joseph’s Banora, Siena College, Benowa SHS, Marist Brothers Tweed Heads.

The seventh year the event has been held, this year’s regatta will again feature the University Challenge Races with Griffith versus University of Queensland Women’s Eights to start at 12.30pm and the equivalent Men’s Eights to begin at 2.30pm.

New medal events

“New this year are the medal events for fastest boy and fastest girl,” said Ms Morahan. “And for the second year running there will be the popular and extremely fun mixed relay event comprising three boats and seven rowers.”

And among the crowd, former Olympian and head of the Griffith Sports College Duncan Free will be the most highly-credentialled spectator.

The 2008 world champion will be a VIP guest when the best rowers in the region converge on the Coomera course for the city’s premier rowing event.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to see so many schools involved in this year’s event. Rowing is now talked about on the Gold Coast and Griffith University rowing is recognised in Australia as a new force in a sport which places us in the top three in the world at international and Olympic levels.

“For subsequent years, my personal vision is to see the regatta be turned into a larger Festival of Rowing on the Coast, with the rowing being the main event and a range of other fun events for spectators to get involved with.”

Venue: Coomera Lakes Regatta Course, Coomera.

First race starts 7.30am. Event concludes 3pm, with the main races being 12-3pm.

Free admission, spectators welcome.