The Penn crew team will compete in the historic Navy Day Regatta this weekend to celebrate the 237th birthday of the United States Navy.

Saturday, the Schuylkill will be overflowing with boats from colleges, high schools and rowing clubs far and wide. Both the Penn men’s lightweight and heavyweight squads, as well as the women’s team, will be competing.

In 1986, two members of the U.S. Navy decided to create an event that would honor both the birth of the country’s navy and serve as a practice run for the Head of the Charles and Head of the Schuylkill Regattas, which take place later in the fall. What began as a less than half-mile race with only a few participants has grown to a 2.5-mile event with over 2,000 athletes.

The race will begin between the Twin Stones Bridge and Strawberry Mansion Bridge, which is the typical starting line for most races. The course continues down the river and ends just past the Girard Avenue Bridge before the top of Boathouse Row.

Penn had several top finishes at last year’s regatta. In the men’s open race, the Penn lightweights took first and third, and the heavyweights finished second and fourth.

In the heavyweight collegiate final, Penn finished third, while two lightweight boats took first and second in their collegiate final. The women also held their own, cruising to first- and third-place finishes in their final.

The first race launches at 8:15 a.m.

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