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Rowers descend on Washington for 24th Stonewall Regatta

Anacostia River will be scene of the action on Sunday.

DC Strokes is the host rowing club for the Stonewall Regatta.

Moe than 400 rowers from 30 teams will take to the waters of the Anacostia River in Washington, D.C., Sunday for the 24th Stonewall Regatta, sponsored by the DC Strokes Rowing Club, the nation’s oldest LGBT rowing organization.

Races run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, starting just north of the 11th Street Bridge and finishing at the Anacostia Community Boathouse.

Here are the details from the DC Stokes:

DC Strokes Rowing Club is gearing up for its 24th Annual Stonewall Regatta on the Anacostia River in Washington, DC on June 4. Stonewall Regatta kicks off the sprint regatta season for the Mid-Atlantic region, and has the unique honor of representing LGBT athletes and allies after the sport of rowing was dropped from this year’s World Out Games in Miami.

Participation at Stonewall will provide an early indication of the excitement and possibilities to bolster the DC 2022 Gay Games XI bid being led by Team DC.

The first Stonewall Regatta was held in 1994 during Gay Games IV in New York City. About a year before the Games, DC Strokes Rowing Club (DCSRC) learned that the host committee for the NYC Games was dropping rowing from the sports line-up, and subsequently decided to organize an independent regatta to run concurrently with the Games.

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village in 1969, considered the start of the gay civil rights movement, this regatta was named "Stonewall Regatta."

The original regatta occurred at the Orchard Beach Race Course in Pelham Bay State Park, site of the 1964 Olympic Rowing Trials. The event was such a success that DCSRC decided to bring it home to Washington, D.C., where it has since been held every June.

This year, more than 30 teams are expected, bringing over 400 rowers to the Anacostia River for a full day of racing by rowers of all backgrounds, orientations and abilities, including adaptive rowers. Races will run approximately every eight minutes between 8 a.m. to 4 pm., starting just north of the 11th Street Bridge and finishing at the Anacostia Community Boathouse.

Spectators are welcome at the boathouse, and there is no admission fee. Parking and shuttles will be provided from Maritime Plaza at 1201 M St. SE. Good views also can be had from the Pennsylvania Avenue Bridge, the Anacostia River Walk pedestrian bridge, and from Anacostia Park.

DC Strokes Rowing Club, one of four independent self-sustaining LGBT and ally rowing teams in the world, provides competitive and recreational rowing opportunities in a safe and supportive environment for rowers of all skill levels. It offers a popular “Learn to Row” program every spring, as well as Novice, Club and Competitive teams.