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October 25, 2021

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Head of Shanghai River Regatta a rowing success

The inaugural Head of Shanghai River Regatta was held on the Suzhou Creek over the weekend.

The two-day event attracted both professional and amateur rowers from around the country to compete in a 4.2-kilometer chase on Saturday and a 500-meter city dash yesterday.

Eight-rower teams were divided into three divisions — professional, college teams and clubs. Each team consisted of eight rowers and one helmsman. There were groups for all-male teams, all-female teams and mixed teams.

In Saturday’s professional division, Hubei Rowing Team came first in the 4.2km all-male group, clocking 13 minutes 33.45 seconds. Hubei Women’s Rowing Team took the crown in the all-female group, clocking 15:15.80.

In the college division, Shanghai Jiaotong University topped the all-male group, clocking 15:03.45. Tongji University was the champion of the mixed group with a time of 16:01.02.

Deep Dive Club from Jiangxi (15:30.02) and Qingquan Shengjing Club from Shenyang (16:44.48) became the all-male and mixed champions of the club division, respectively.

The Saturday winners also topped their groups in the same divisions in yesterday’s city dash.

The 4.2km race started from the Puji Road Bridge in Jing’an District, and ended at the landmark Waibaidu Bridge in Huangpu District. The route has six major turns, going past some signature constructions along the creek, including Sihang Warehouse, the General Post Office Building and Broadway Mansions.

The first major turn near the Hengfeng Road Bridge has a curve of near 90 degrees — a challenge for many teams.

“We don’t usually encounter such a big curve,” said Zhao Zuhang, a member of the Shanghai Jiaotong University team. “We spent a lot of time studying the curve. But the beautiful view along the route was worth the challenge.”

Bridges over the river course imposed traffic restriction measures during competition hours over safety concerns. Spectator areas were set along the creek for citizens to enjoy the race.

Shanghai Sports Bureau director Xu Bin said the introduction of the regatta was especially meaningful amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Shanghai has suspended a handful of world-class international sports competitions mainly due to travel restrictions caused by the pandemic,” said Xu. “Therefore, it’s important and meaningful that we gather our resources to organize such a local-brand competition.

“Shanghai faces the sea. Its development also depends on water. The regatta can highlight the city’s geographic and cultural characteristics.”


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