WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Rowers competed in the 31st annual Frostbite Regatta along the Little Arkansas River Sunday.
Around 500 athletes from eight different states came to Wichita to compete.
“It’s a big event. Lots of teams come down from like Colorado, Nebraska, all those places that you know wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to race something like this,” said Zach Davis, Wichita Rowing Association. “We’ve got Des Moines, St Louis, I think there’s a couple teams from Texas, Oklahoma, kind of all around.”
Davis says the size and shape of the Little Arkansas River makes the races like no other.
“It’s real tight. It’s a really challenging course, which makes it really fun,” Davis said. “A lot of places, they throw in a big open lake and, so this is a different experience for ’em, it’s a ton of fun.”
The 1.7-mile-long race starts near 11th St on the Little Arkansas River and goes down to the Ralph Wilz Tennis Center complex.
“So they [rowers] start all up almost by like 11th Street, about 25-hundred meters upstream, they’ll come down, they’ll do basically a big S, come through this last bridge here, and then straight shot right around the curve. It’s very twisty, it’s very narrow,” said Davis.
The Frostbite Regatta is the Wichita Rowing Association’s biggest fundraiser.
During the summer, the Wichita Rowing Association hosts learn-to-row classes for adults. They also have a junior program that Davis coaches.
“It’s open to everyone; no experience needed. You don’t have to be an athlete,” Davis said. “You know we just want to teach people. Get ’em out in boats, show ’em what rowing’s all about.”