Rowing Regatta on Crystal Lake Saturday

This photo is from a 2009 heat toward the West End of Crystal Lake. It was a windy day.

The annual Greater Chicago Junior Rowing Championships will be held on Crystal Lake Saturday.  If you haven’t seen such a regatta, it might be worth your time.

If it was a windy day as in 2009, taking the skiff out of the water can get one wet, as you can see below.

A dozen teams are expected this year.  One would expect that New Trier, Woodlands Academy, North Suburban, the Lincoln Park Juniors and St. Ignatius would come again.

During the race, this crew's skiff took on a good deal of water.

One year, crews from Upper Arlington, Ohio, north of Columbus, competed, so this is truly a regional event.  In 2009, West Park, Canada, participated, as did St. Louis.  There was also a Mendota crew from Madison, Wisconsin.

In 2009, this banner announced the event.

The event is sponsored by the Crystal Lake Rowing Club.

The 2009 race course.

Most of the folks who come with the teams watch the races from the Main Beach., but there are places to watch more than the end of the race from the south shore.

Family and friends lined Crystal Lake Main Beach shoreline for the 2009 regatta.

The best spot to watch the action, in my opinion, is Gate 3’s beach.

Two houses to the west of Main Beach is CCAPOA's Gate 3 beach. The willow tree in the background is on its edge.

While only those with Country Club Additions Property Owners Association car stickers can utilize the small number of parking spaces, the beach is a short walk from the Main Beach.  It can be reached from the first street in Lakewood (look for the Gate 3 sign), which is just to the west of the Beach.

Here's a view of a close four-way race from Gate 3.

There are three other CCAPOA beaches, also with permit parking only, along South Shore Drive.  Each are within walking distance of the Main Beach, since Crystal Lake is only a bit over a mile long.

Watching people get ready for the races is an event in itself.

Not that there are not things to see at the Main Beach.

Launching the skiffs takes real skill, especially if it is a windy day.

Especially for those who have never watched such races.

This is the view from Gate 21, the fartherest south shore beach from Main Beach, from which race starts can be seen.

There is a Regatta Playground, one of two Leathers playgrounds in Crystal Lake, to occupy the younger siblings.

Appropriate for a rowing regatta is the Crystal Lake Park District's Regatta Playgound. Besides being a place for kids to play, it offers a high view of races.

And, there is always the beach on which kids can play.

Crystal Lake will be too cold to swim in, but brave young ones have been known to dash in and out the water.

Participating this Saturday will be

  • Camp Randall RC (Madison WI)
  • Chicago Training Center (also include UNO charter school)
  • Crystal Lake Rowing Club
  • Ignatius Chicago
  • Lincoln Park Juniors
  • Loyola Academy
  • New Trier HS
  • North Suburban Crew (Woodlands Academy)
  • Rochester RC (MN)

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