The Lake Lanier Olympic Venue will be brimming with high school and college rowers this weekend.
Competitors are descending on the lake for the 29th annual John Hunter Regatta, which the Lake Lanier Rowing Club is hosting along with the Georgia Tech and Saint Andrew rowing clubs.
After the teams practice on Friday afternoon, the four-person and eight-person races start at 8 a.m. Saturday.
Lake Lanier Rowing Club board member Duane Schlereth said it’s exciting to be able to carry on the Olympic legacy at Lake Lanier.
“We have one of the finest bodies of water for racing in the world,” Schlereth said.
About 30 races, including lightweight and novice events, will be held on the lake this weekend as teams from across the Southeast come into the area.
This won’t be the first rowing action on the lake this year. Multiple college teams from colder areas of the country have come to town for practice ahead of their seasons.
Virginia, Michigan, Penn State, Ithaca College and Navy all brought their rowing teams to train on Lake Lanier while lakes and rivers back home were frozen.
Schlereth estimated this weekend’s regatta will require about 100 volunteers.
More than 3,000 spectators are expected to attend the races. Schlereth said the event could cause some traffic back-ups on Clarks Bridge Road.
Following this weekend, the Lake Lanier Rowing Club will host a pair of competitions in May.
The Southeast Regional Junior Championships are set for May 9-10 on Lake Lanier, with high-school-age teens vying for spots in the national championships.
Then, the American Collegiate Rowing Association national championships come to town on Memorial Day weekend (May 23-24).