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Historic North Jersey high school crew races set for Overpeck Lake

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: The first championship regatta for North Jersey high school boy and girl crew teams ever on Overpeck Lake is set for this Saturday, hosted by the Teaneck Rowing Club in cooperation with Bergen County.

PHOTOS COURTESY: Teaneck Rowing Club

North Jersey’s high school rowing teams have traditionally competed on Philadelphia’s Schuylkill River and on Cooper River in Camden. Races at both locations have been estimated to bring in tens of millions of dollars to the local economies through food, lodging, shopping and more.

In the middle of the largest urban population in the country, the man-made lake — made by damming Overpeck Creek — allows easy access from anywhere, while offering immediate ammenities. It’s a 10-minute drive from the George Washington Bridge and roughly twice that from the Lincoln Tunnel. 

What’s more, experts say Overpeck Lake and its surrounding new $110 million park, which opened in 2010, provide ideal conditions for rowing — with a straight, 2000-meter course on a body of fresh water. Elevated spectator viewing areas, from each five-lane race’s start to finish, are also key.

The day will begin at 9 a.m. with Columbia, Yale, and Penn competing for two of rowing’s biggest trophies, the prestigious Blackwell Cup for heavyweights, which had its start in 1927, and the Dodge Cup for lightweights, now in its 57th consecutive year.

Regional Regatta Director Clemens Reinke, the crew coach at Teaneck High School, Leonia High School, and Fairleigh Dickinson University, has been working closely with the Bergen County Parks Department in organizing the landmark event, which will be officiated U.S. rowing officials.

The Teaneck Rowing Club, which sponsors both the Leonia and Teaneck High School crew teams, has been rowing and training on the lake the past two years.

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