64th Annual Founders Day Regatta set for May 5 at Lake Waramaug

Girls Varsity Rowing

The Frederick Gunn School will host the 64th annual Founders Day Regatta at Lake Waramaug on Sunday, May 5, 2024. Morning heats will begin at 9 a.m., with the last morning race at 11:15 a.m. Racing will resume at 12:15 p.m. following lunch, and will conclude by 2 p.m. Alumni, current students, families, faculty, and friends are welcome to cheer on Gunn Rowing at the finish line, located at Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent. 

“One of the more impressive things about the Founders Day Regatta is how big of an event it is — how many people (athletes, coaches, spectators, volunteers) participate to make the day as successful as it is year-to-year,” said Chris Visentin of the English Department faculty and Head Coach, Boys Rowing. “I rowed at Founders Day when I was in high school, as did Coach Lincoln Turner, our previous boys head coach, as did Coach Aiden Braithwaite and Coach Julie Petrillo ’18, two of our assistant coaches. On top of that, so many faculty and students get involved to make the day a success.”

“On a separate note, the regatta is a great (and rare) opportunity to recognize our crews, who work and compete outside of the spotlight and off campus; with Founder’s Day, the community comes together and comes to us at Lake Waramaug,” Visentin said.

This year,  Gunn's B1V, B3V, and G1V boats will be competing on their home course against teams from across Connecticut and the region for the boys and girls overall points trophies, the George H. Lorenz Memorial Trophy, and the Kathryn L. Conroy Cup. Participants include teams from the following schools and boat clubs: Northfield Mount Hermon, The Taft School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Hopkins School, Pomfret School, King School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Berkshire School, Brewster Academy, Canterbury School, Suffield Academy, Rumsey Hall, Litchfield Hills Rowing Club, Greenwich Country Day and Greenwich Academy.

Founder’s Day began in 1959 when Katherine L. Conroy of Washington bestowed upon the school’s longtime rowing coach, Rod Beebe, a gift of $5,000 and a large sterling silver trophy, originally called the Founders Cup. In the inaugural race, 60 boys from Gunn, Choate, and Haverford raced over a three-quarter-mile course on the New Preston side of Lake Waramaug, and Gunn won the cup. Today, the regatta is a cherished school tradition supported by Gunn Rowing, Gunn Athletics, and dozens of student and faculty volunteers. 

“I’m always excited to see the enthusiasm around campus regarding the efforts that go on,” said Assistant Coach Ellissa Popoff. “Founders Day is a great staple of the spring season. I appreciate everyone who comes out to support and volunteer."

If you go: Parking is available around the lake, near the Lake Waramaug Country Club. School-operated shuttles for all visitors will run in a loop from the parking areas to the regatta site. Plan to arrive early, as parking is limited. Please note that traffic will run one way in a loop around the lake on May 5. The Lake Waramaug State Park Campground will be closed. Per the State Department of Energy And Environmental Protection, drone photography is prohibited.

Additional Images