October 2012 Event To Benefit Chicago Urban Youth
CHICAGO, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Chicago River will be the site of the first-ever event to bring teams of world-class rowers together with youth teams to compete. Chicago River Race Ltd. today announced the creation of The Chicago River Race, an international rowing event that will take place October 12 and 13, 2012.
According to Chicago River Race Executive Director Jennifer Butsch, in addition to attracting residents and visitors to the river to watch the competition, the event is designed to raise awareness of and funding for free developmental programs for Chicago urban youth. "Chicago youth - especially in the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods – need our help to thrive and succeed. The time is right for such an event that showcases alternative activities, such as rowing, that can take place on the river and make a difference for Chicago youth," says Butsch.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel today spoke in his press conference about river recreation initiatives, like races, that will bring positive attention to this important city asset. "We are pleased the Mayor's Office and Chicago's Alderman support the inaugural Chicago River Race for its commitment to the city's youth and its use of the Chicago River," said Butsch. "The city's support is critical to hosting a successful, high-profile rowing event. The Chicago River Race will add our city to the map of legendary global rowing events."
The race will start at Ping Tom Park on the city's south side with rowers passing under 16 of the iconic bridges that span the river. The finish line will be at the Merchandise Mart's South Drive, where a special feature of the two-day event will be a festival for kids and families to learn about youth programs and experience them first-hand in a fun and interactive environment.
The Chicago River Race will be an invitation-only "headrace" in which crews are set off individually and timed down a course. There will be five categories of competitors: elite international men's and national collegiate coxed fours; elite international woman's and national collegiate coxed fours; junior boys quadruple sculls; junior girls quadruple sculls and an open master group open to a limited number of competitors based on fundraising requirements.
A handicapping system will be used that will allow competitors to compete against all other classes of rowers while still being focused on results within their peer group. The handicap will be created by the results from the prior day's indoor physical challenge on indoor rowing machines.
The two-day event will culminate in a parade of youth rowers from Chicago as well as an awards dinner to announce the five category winners and the one overall winner.
The Chicago River Race will be funded through sponsorships with race profits designated to fund youth programming as well as college scholarships. There are three sponsorship levels: Presenting sponsor, Youth Tent sponsor and Race Category sponsors. "This is a tremendous opportunity for companies to get in on the ground floor of a signature event that has the support of the City and will draw international attention," said Butsch.
Chicago River Race LTD is a 501 ( c ) 3 organization that was formed with the singular goal to create an annual international rowing race on the Chicago River in support of free developmental programs for Chicago's urban youth.
SOURCE The Chicago River Race