Philadelphia Youth Regatta coaches, athletes take extra precautions due to heat

Because of the heat, organizers brought in coolers full of ice and asked extra EMTs to be on hand for the regatta.

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Sunday, July 24, 2022
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"We've been training every day in this heat so we're kind of used to it by now," said Campbell Coonley, who races with Conshohocken Rowing Club.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Nearly 2,000 young athletes competed in the largest one-day sprint regatta in the entire country on Saturday in Philadelphia.

The extreme temperatures forced organizers of the Philadelphia Youth Regatta to take extra precautions.

"This is one of our chilly vests," said Bonnie Mueller, commodore of the Schuylkill Navy, showing off a vest that they dunk in ice and give to anyone struggling in the heat. "We absolutely can't ignore the heat but we're ready with lots of fun, we're ready with ice and water and everybody's staying cool out there."

Because of the heat, organizers brought in coolers full of ice and asked extra EMTs to be on hand for the regatta, which features mainly high school-aged kids.

"Water," said Bridget McTear, who competes for Conshohocken Rowing Club. "A lot of water and ice."

Athletes and spectators alike looked for shade and kept water close by.

"It's always one of the hottest weekends of the year. I think perennially, no matter what, no matter what weekend we do it, it's the hottest weekend of the year," said Taya DiAngelo, an organizer and the assistant coach of women's rowing at Villanova University.

She says when a race falls on a day where heat is an issue, coaches vigilantly look for signs of heat-related illnesses.

"As soon as you see an athlete kind of acting abnormal, you check in with them to make sure they're good and they've been hydrating," said DiAngelo.

Still, athletes say the weather was worth the race.

"We've been training every day in this heat so we're kind of used to it by now," said Campbell Coonley, who races with Conshohocken Rowing Club.