After a two-year hiatus during the global pandemic, the Founders Day Regatta will return to Lake Waramaug on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Some 500 student-athletes representing more than a dozen teams from independent and public high schools throughout the region are scheduled to participate. Heats begin at 9 a.m., when the top four boats from each school will line up at the starting line. Grand and petit finals will be held in the early afternoon.
Teams compete for a boys team overall points trophy and a girls team overall points trophy. The boys first boats race for the George H. Lorenz Memorial Trophy and the girls first boats race for the Kathryn L. Conroy Cup.
Founders Day began in 1959 when Katherine Conroy of Washington bestowed upon the school’s longtime crew 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.
Joining Gunn on its home course in this 63rd year of the regatta will be: Berkshire School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, Forman School, Greenwich Academy, Hopkins School, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Miss Porter’s School, Northfield Mount Hermon, Pomfret School, Rumsey Hall, Suffield Academy, Taft School, Windsor High School.
The finish line is located at Lake Waramaug State Park in Kent, where school tents and exuberant parents, students and alumni fans make the day a grand occasion. Organizing and running the regatta has always been a Gunn team effort and the coaches, rowers and dozens of volunteers help to make the day a success each year. Parking is available around the lake, near the Lake Waramaug Country Club. School-operated shuttles for all visitors and will run in a loop from parking areas to the regatta site.