BY ABIGAEL SNYDER – KHQA TV, QUINCY, ILLINOIS
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20TH 2015
The first Regatta, or man-powered boat race, in the Quincy Bay started in the late 1800’s.
This was a time when the fastest boats on the river were row boats.
In the decision to return water races to Quincy, they came up with the “Quincy 5 Miler” and “Bear Creek Grunt”.
On Sunday, Racers rowed to the finish line as they competed in the “Bear Creek Grunt”.
This is an event put on with the hopes of bringing the racing tradition back to Quincy.
The fifteen mile adventure race had sixteen experienced rowers in attendance.
Race organizer, Ray Thomas ,said the event began four years ago and was the first regatta in 62 years.
“There was the North Side and the South Side Boat Club and they would race each other and people, would come here from Chicago and St. Louis. They would bring their boats here on railroad cars that would bring them down to the siding alongside the river. Some of those boats were 60 feet long,” Thomas said.
People from all over the Midwest came out to participate in the Bear Creek Grunt on Saturday.
Quincy Area Volunteer Emergency Corps provided safety boats each day for the Quincy 5 Miler and Bear Creek Grunt to oversee rowers on the water during the event.