US Rowing Championships returning to Oak Ridge, heavy traffic expected around Melton Lake

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The U.S. Rowing Masters National Rowing Championships are coming back to Oak Ridge. The competition will be held on the Melton Lake rowing course from Aug. 12-15.

The Oak Ridge Rowing Association last hosted the event in 2017. Competitors aged 21 and up will come from all over the United States to compete. For many, it will be their first big regatta in two years.

Racing begins at 8 a.m. and runs until 6 p.m. each day. Set up will start on August 7 with teams expected to arrive on August 10. Melton Lake Park will be closed to nonrace parking and the Melton Lake Park boat ramp and the ramp upstream of the park will be closed. Heavy traffic is expected around Melton Lake Park and along Melton Lake Drive.

Melton Lake Greenway will remain open and officials ask people to be aware of congestion and use caution along the rowing course. Melton Lake will be a strict No Wake Zone. TWRA will be patrolling from the area upstream of Calhoun’s restaurant and downstream to the UT Battelle Rowing Finish Tower. Boaters are asked to allow extra time and use caution if they plan to traverse the racecourse and to do so at idle speed.

In 2017, nearly 1,500 crews from 29 states, Canada, Germany and Mexico traveled to Oak Ridge to compete. In 2020, COVID-19 lead to the cancellation of the 2020 spring and summer races. Officials expect similar numbers as in 2017 as events have begun to return. ORRA has also hosted the Cardinal Invitational, Dogwood Juniors and Masters, US Rowing SE Regional Championships, The American Athletics Conference Championships, and the Oak Ridge Invitational Regatta.

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