With a rich history of teaching young people to sail and design vessels, it’s only natural the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University is partnering with the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee to sponsor a new racing shell. MI will have the honour of naming the new shell and supporting the many young rowing athletes who now form the majority of participants in the oldest continuing sporting event in North America.
At a reception held at the Quidi Vidi boathouse and dock today, the new shell was officially dedicated and named The Marine Institute. On hand to present the Marine Institute with a plaque to commemorate the event was Charles R. Cook, president of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee.
“We are extremely pleased today that the Marine Institute is continuing to support the tradition of the Royal St. John’s Regatta by sponsoring a racing shell,” said Mr. Cook. “Crews will use the new shell, The Marine Institute, to train and race in regatta events and foster the proud tradition of the oldest continuing sporting event in North America.”
The Marine Institute’s executive director, Glenn Blackwood, said the Marine Institute is honored to be involved with the Royal St. John’s Regatta.
“The Regatta has its roots in seafaring and so does the Marine Institute. It seemed like a natural fit for us to sponsor a shell considering our close ties to the sea and the skills of seafaring men and women,” he said. “For the past two years, Canadian Navy students at the Marine Institute have teamed up to row in the Regatta and have made the Institute very proud with their impressive showing at both the Royal St. John’s Regatta and the Harbour Grace Regatta.”
Also on hand to mark the occasion was St. John’s Acting Mayor Shannie Duff.
By sponsoring the Regatta Shell, the Marine Institute has the opportunity to offer teams use of the shell for practice, Discovery Day races, and some Regatta Day Races. A race sponsored in the Marine Institute’s name and presentations to the winning team of the MI race are also some added benefits of sponsorship.
The Royal St. John's Regatta is the oldest continuing sporting event in North America. The event continues to draw in excess of 50,000 spectators each year and is a major focal point of summer activities in the St. John's area. This year’s Regatta is scheduled to take place on Aug. 6 at Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador.