Cascadia: Still Going Strong After Ten Years
2019 marks the 10th anniversary of the Cascadia Masters Championships Regatta and what a great 10 years it has been.
In the year Vancouver welcomed the world to the XXI Winter Olympics, Cascadia Masters Regatta was launched. Members from five lower mainland clubs together with encouragement from keen master’s competitors created what we have today. It was the very definition of a grassroots effort which has become more than we had hoped. We are delighted with all the support we have received from the entire rowing community.
Together with support from Rowing BC and Delta Deas Rowing Club, we took a deep breath and jumped in.
Cascadia, which some call ‘a state of mind…was the perfect brand to enhance and reflect the biodiversity and shared community relationship of the region and clubs.
From those modest beginnings we have now grown to the largest masters’ regatta in western Canada and one of the largest in the Pacific Northwest. Our beginnings were humble. The first year we welcomed a couple hundred entries from 18 clubs. All have been reliable partners growing to almost 500 entries from 30 clubs and a growing number of para rowers. In 2014, we partnered with Burnaby Lake Rowing Club to organize the most successful Canadian Masters Championship ever! It has all been such fun!
The vision from the start was that as Cascadia would be a stand-alone regatta, it is in a unique position of staging a masters only regatta which would move between venues, rates would remain low as fundraising is not a priority, but funds realized from the regatta would go back to the community. Of course, our host club is remunerated for the use of their rowing club, coach boats and immeasurable help in hosting the regatta and our volunteers who make it all happen are treated to t-shirts, lunches and a donation to their club. In this way, we feel we are giving back to the rowing community. As we grow, we will be looking for even more meaningful opportunities to support rowing.
Cascadia has made a name for itself as a venue for great rowing with a relaxed atmosphere and our volunteers are second to none. We treasure our volunteers and love those who come back each year to get their collectable tee shirt and as a thank you. Being able to do this has been crucial to us being able to rely on a pool of great volunteers from year to year. Any club that has not been volunteering should think about doing it this year. It’s a great way to make a little money.
This year we are looking forward to unveiling a new logo, a new website and a new to us results system. We are partnering with Here Now to provide fast and reliable results that will be accessible on your handheld device or touchscreen monitor. We hope to welcome all of you to our regatta. It’s gonna be great.