Regatta Spotlight: Duluth International Regatta

The 60th Duluth International Regatta is this week’s regatta spotlight. Hosted by the historic Duluth Rowing Club, the regatta is one of very few held in North America with an immediate backup venue in case of weather conditions on the main race course.

“Usually, racing is on the Saint Louis Bay, but if the wind changes, we can also switch to the Lake Superior side of the peninsula,” regatta chair Claire Persons said. “There’s six miles of beach there, and we have race course options on both sides, which is really a cool thing. It’s a bit of a different start without stake boats if they race on the lake, but people always seem to be excited to be able to say they actually competed on Lake Superior whenever it happens.”

Duluth Rowing Club was a premier rowing club of the United States in the early 20th century, winning numerous regattas and national championships between 1911 and 1923. The iconic national championship trophy of the National Association of Amateur Oarsmen, the precursor to USRowing, was named the Julius Barnes Trophy for the Duluth Rowing Club’s major donor at the time.

Even today, Duluth Rowing Club is proud to race for some spectacular trophies.

“As a member of the North West International Rowing Association, we race to win the Lipton Cup, which is a sister trophy to the famed Stanley Cup of the National Hockey League,” Persons said.

The NWIRA is a rowing association with nine member teams from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ontario and Saskatchewan, most of which will be attending the regatta.

Repeating competitors at the Duluth International Regatta will notice a few great changes.

We just built a new boathouse and club house on the property,” Persons said. “It’s a million dollar facility, and this is our first regatta with all those great facilities in place. The boathouse has the large bays for big boats, with the club house being the space for smaller boats. We are proud to be supporting sports in our community, with now over a hundred youth rowers within our own club. Not bad for a little town in the Midwest!”

Photos courtesy of Duluth Rowing Club

Interested in having your USRowing Registered Regatta featured in our Regatta Spotlight? Reach out to USRowing Referee and Member Programs Manager Jules Zane at with the subject line “USRowing Registered Regatta Spotlight.”

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