Frostbite Regatta brings over 500 rowers to Little Arkansas River


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – More than 500 athletes from all over the county took to the Little Arkansas River Sunday for the 30th annual Frostbite Regatta.

After the event was canceled last year, some rowers are sharing that this event means twice as much.

“This is like the best weather. It’s called the frostbite, but it is the best weather ever. Sunshine out, it’s beautiful, the racecourse is beautiful,” said Grace Malacirda, the head coach for the Mile High Rowing club.

Frostbite or not, some rowers said the Little Arkansas River is the perfect course.

“Our rivers are really nicely sheltered compared to a lot of these other guys here on lakes and other like more urban rivers so it’s nice, and then also Wichita is just a really fun town,” said Evan Yang, Wichita Junior Rowing Association.

“It is a technical course. It’s very challenging because of the curves and because of the bridges. But also it’s beautiful because it goes right through our Riverside parks, and especially this time of year is just gorgeous,” said Anne Maack, the volunteer coordinator of Wichita Frostbite Regatta.

This year, after years of collecting funds, the Wichita Rowing Association was able to host from its brand new boathouse.

“We’re so thrilled to finally have a boathouse and a building that we can use as our to host this regatta,” said Maack.

Some rowers came from as far as Dever to ride the river.

“It was just so beautiful rowing in different places. Just being on the water and also that it was a really great team sport,” said Zoe Smith-Holladay, a rower from Denver.

“I think we have a good river, a good community, and after the Olympics this year, I think rowing has actually been pretty popular,” said Baylor Booth, Wichita Junior Rowing Association.

The course was 1.5 miles, and more than 90 people came out to volunteer for the event.

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