Local/State

Dad Vail Regatta moves to Monmouth County

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Dad Vail Regatta is pulling its oars out of the Schuylkill River.

The popular college rowing event has been held in Philadelphia since 1953. However, in an effort to save money, organizers will hold next year's competition in Rumson, New Jersey, which is 90 miles north of Philadelphia.

Rumson offered regatta organizers $100,000 in advance, with the promise of $150,000 more to move the event.

Organizers say staging costs in Philadelphia have doubled in five years to $500,000 while corporate sponsorships have plummeted due to the ailing economy.

"The decision was driven financially. The Dad Vail has got to be able to pay its debts, and our reserve fund is used up," said regatta board member Jack Galloway.

The mayor's office says they wish they had a chance to try to convince the regatta to stay this year, but apparently the organizers had already made up their mind to leave before ever meeting with Philadelphia city officials.

"They told us they had already decided to move it to Rumson, New Jersey," said city representative Melanie Johnson.

120 teams with 3,000 athletes participate in the event. That includes St. Joe's rower Conner Malone, who happens to live in Rumson.

"It's going to be awesome, going back home. I've never raced on the river because there's never been a race there when I rowed. At the same time I'm going to miss Philadelphia. Having the boat house is a huge advantace, and I love the course here."

Action News has learned the city is already planning a strategy to bring the regatta back in 2011.

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