BY ED MORAN
PHOTO BY ADAM REIST
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The IRA Stewards unanimously voted to move ahead with plans for the 2021 Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship.
“We’re closer, but we’re not there yet,” IRA commissioner Gary Caldwell said Wednesday afternoon. “This is contingent on Covid-19 continuing to decline.”
The regatta is currently scheduled to take place May 28-29 at Lake Mercer in West Windsor, New Jersey. It will be shortened to a two-day event as opposed to the traditional three-day format in order to reduce the amount of time participants spend at the venue.
According to a release published after the Stewards’ March 10 meeting, plans for lightweight events are still ongoing.
The news that the IRA Championship has been given some life comes two days after Caldwell had to release news that three key regattas, the Men’s and Women’s Eastern Sprints, and the National Invitational Regatta, which are all held in Worcester, Mass., in May, all had to be canceled due to a lack of subscription.
Caldwell said that before the Wednesday meeting took place, he had spent time asking coaches if they would attend and moved ahead with a proposal for the stewards based on the positive responses.
Wednesday, Caldwell said that an official final vote to hold the regatta would take place March 24th.
“It will be contingent on reaching subscription levels necessary to balance the budget. We haven’t asked anybody formally yet. We’ve done queries of the coaches and the coaches have given us indication that they are going compete, but those are indications, they aren’t actually acceptances.
“Until we get administrators to sign the application package, we won’t know who is actually going to come.” All the applications have to be completed before the next meeting, he said. “We’re going to know by the 24th of March if we have enough schools answering in the affirmative if we are going to have the regatta.”
In addition to the common safety measures taking place at regattas happening currently, the event will not allow spectators or accommodate alumni tents.
The vote will be re-certified March 24 and will be also contingent on “further encouraging news regarding progress in the fight against Covid-19.”