Stotesbury Cup Regatta returns to the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia

Katherine Scott Image
Friday, May 19, 2023
Stotesbury Cup Regatta returns to the Schuylkill River
The Stotesbury Cup Regatta began on Friday morning on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Stotesbury Cup Regatta began on Friday morning on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.

High school athletes from as far away as Canada are on the water for this two-day event.

The regatta is billed as the world's largest high school regatta.

Veterans and first-timers were all ready to row the 1500-meter course.

"I'm really excited- it's my last race- I'm a senior, and I love Stotes- it's just a good time," exclaimed Gianna Masters of Nutley High School.

"I'm a freshman so this is my first Stotes," shared Jordan DiVilio of Nutley High School.

"We're here almost every single weekend. We've been here since our freshman year, and we know this course very well. I think we are very prepared," remarked Caroline Spina of Holy Spirit High School in Absecon.

More than 4,200 athletes and nearly 200 schools take part.

"Youth rowing is really important to our sport and to the development of kids everywhere," said regatta co-director Margaret Meigs.

Meigs added that the Schuylkill holds more rowing events than any other rowing venue in this country.

"We do our sport on a river in the middle of a public park - in a beautiful public park - in the city of Philadelphia, and that's a big honor," Meigs said.

Dredging of the racecourse is happening this summer. While the Dad Vail Regatta moved to the Cooper River in New Jersey last weekend, Stotesbury organizers said they were confident they could go forward with this race ahead of the dredging.

Athletes explained the tough competition propels them.

"If you want to medal, if you want to be successful, there's 30 other kids working just as hard as you. So it pushes you that much more," said Taya Anderson of Holy Spirit.

"I think it's also cool because we are such a small school, so coming out to these huge regattas is awesome," added Allison Lee of Holy Spirit.

Tents from the different schools line the river bank.

Spectators hunker down for the two-day regatta, sharing that there's just something special about this event.

"I think it's great they get to interact with other schools, meet kids from other schools. It's great competition and good sportsmanship," said parent Vinny Lubowiecki.

"We've been all over - Camden, Philly, northern Jersey - and you can't beat this environment. You can't beat the energy that's here," said parent Bob DiVilio.

Meigs said, "Philadelphia is the birthplace of American rowing, so we got a long history, but we also have an incredible present and future on this river."