Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pope's Island Rowing Regatta

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Pope's Island, sits in the middle of the Acushnet River between New Bedford and Fairhaven MA.  The western connector is the New Bedford/Fairhaven bridge and the eastern is the causeway connecting Fairhaven.   The rowers put in at the top right hand side of the island above.  They rowed left under the bridge and looped around the island returning in the channel created by the boats in dock and the moored boats that are show in the center right of the photo.

It's another first time event for the City of New Bedford and it's another feather in the cap of the mayor who has done wonderful things to make the city a destination.

Unloading 8 scull. 

Women's 4 scull

Community Row of Boston

Careful, careful

Lots of spectators came on this mild but windy afternoon.  Most were part of the regatta, participants, friends and families, but many were locals who came to see what this was all about.  It took a while for the novice audience to realize that there would be no head to head races.  The boats had times to put in, warm up a bit, then start the time trial.  The course was a 1.3 mile loop and boats competed in various divisions.  Although the bulk of this regatta was high school aged, there was a decent representation of the other divisions. 

Team gathering

High school team unloading boat.
Once we learned how to watch, wifey and I walked over to the New Bedford/Fairhaven span to see the final quarter mile of the sprint.  We not only got a good view, but also was able to ride the bridge as it opened to let a couple of small boats through.  It's a swing bridge by the way, so riding is was not an ordeal.

New Bedford 8 Rowing Team

New Bedford 4 team

Buzzards Bay 8 team

Walking on the swung open bridge.

Bridge Tender operates the opening from here. 

Standing in the middle of the road with the bridge swung open

Notice the cars in the background waiting for the boats to pass

Walking across the bridge

Bridge swinging back toward the road on the left. 

Just like the TV show, "Undercover Boss",  the mayor was walking around the place looking just like any other tourist.  Mayor Lang often attends events and festivals in this fashion.  He is not big on pomp and celebrity attention.  

 Mayor Lang (hat) incognito

It was a nice way to spend a part of a fall afternoon and another benefit of living on the ocean. 

Wifey is ready to go home.

On the way home we came across a group of swans we have watched grow into teens over the summer. They have recently left the parents but still stay together. It won't be long and they will separate and each go their own way.


  1. That looks like a great venue. Head races usually occur in the fall, and are styled after the Head of the Charles in Boston. It's essentially a race against the clock, but it's a great rush to catch and pass a boat that started before you. Spring races are the sprints, where boats line up next to each other and race 2K. They are much more anaerobic - a friend once accurately described it as "breathing blood." Great pics.

  2. Never knew or thought of riding the bridge when it opens. I have sat in the car as it swings and enjoyed the view and enjoy when everyone shuts off the car's engine.