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Poughkeepsie Regatta

The Poughkeepsie Regatta was the annual championship regatta of the U.S. Intercollegiate Rowing Association (IRA) when it was held in Poughkeepsie, New York from 1895 to 1949.


  • History 1
  • Revival 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The IRA was established by Cornell, Columbia, and Pennsylvania in 1891,[1] the third year of their race on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut. There Harvard and Yale, from 1878, had established and maintained "The Race" as an exclusive head-to-head contest. The newly formed IRA "left New London in frustration and disgust" next year and selected a permanent site for its own annual regatta in June 1895.[2]

In June 1895, an IRA championship race was held on the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie, with Cornell, Columbia, and the University of Pennsylvania competing. The course was a straight four miles, wide enough for 20 boats.[3] In 1899 there were 48 cars in the observation train that slowly followed the race as "a moving grandstand" (on the heights above the river).[4] People soon named the championship regatta after its permanent location and the name Poughkeepsie Regatta was used on the cover of the official program from 1922.[5]

The Regatta grew to be "the greatest one-day sporting event in America" early in the 20th century, the culmination of a "carnival" regatta week on both sides of the river every June.[6]

After 55 years, the IRA Championship Regatta moved in 1950 to Marietta, Ohio; in 1952 to Syracuse, New York; and in 1995 to Camden, New Jersey. Harvard and Yale remained self-segregated for a century, long after the IRA championship left Poughkeepsie and the Hudson River.[7]


The Hudson River Rowing Association "welcomed back" the Poughkeepsie Regatta in October 2008, running races in eight classifications on a 2.3-mile segment of the traditional course.[8]

Marist College "reenacted" a Poughkeepsie Regatta on the Hudson River at Poughkeepsie in October 2009, for the quadricentennial of Henry Hudson exploration of the river.[9] There was a repeat in 2010 and a cancellation caused by foul weather in 2011. The September 2012 rendition was called "annual" by Marist.[10]

See also


  1. ^ Mallory, p. 323.
    Citing "Collegiate Oarsmen Organize: A New Intercollegitate Rowing Association Formed", The New York Times, November 1, 1891.
  2. ^ Mallory, p. 323.
  3. ^ Mallory, p. 324.
  4. ^ Mallory, p. 327.
  5. ^ "Programs". Intercollegiate Rowing Association: Poughkeepsie Regatta. Marist Archives & Special Collections. Marist College. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  6. ^ Mallory, p. 328–29.
  7. ^ Mallory, p. 329.
  8. ^ "The Poughkeepsie Regatta". Hudson River Rowing Association. October 4, 2008. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
  9. ^ "Quadricentennial Poughkeepsie Regatta". The New York Times. October 4, 2009. Retrieved 2013-05-11.
  10. ^ "Men's Crew Wins Annual Poughkeepsie Regatta, Women Finish Second". Marist Athletics. September 29, 2012. Marist College. Retrieved 2013-05-11.

Peter Mallory. The Sport of Rowing: Two Centuries of Competition. Four volumes. Henley-on-Thames, England: River Rowing Museum. 2011. Selections published online in advance as Exclusive Features.

  • "American Collegiate Rowing Takes Shape". Mallory (2011), vol. 2, ch. 28 (pp. 319–29). Featured online by in (Mallory, chapters 27–35) (pages 312–60). Retrieved 2013-05-11.

External links

  • 1997 Exhibit: "Rowing on the Hudson River" by Allynne Lange, Curator, at Hudson River Maritime Museum (Archived 2012-02-04)
  • Intercollegiate Rowing Association: Poughkeepsie Regatta at Marist College Archives & Special Collections
  • "A History of Rowing In the Hudson Valley" by Warren Buhler at Hudson River Rowing Association

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