A Good Paddling: IUPUI Regatta

How to win this month’s (rare) boat race on the canal

The annual IUPUI regatta (Sept. 21, iupui.edu/~soar) pits members of the school’s community against each other in a festive canoe relay. With live music, canine costume contests, and a big, cheering crowd at the north basin’s starting line, the free event has quickly become the best party of the year on Indy’s scenic waterway. Here’s how to join the fun:

1. Find an IUPUI hookup. Only the school’s students, faculty, staff, and alums can enter the regatta—but there are plenty of them. The field  attracts 112 eight-person teams. “The whole reason behind this is that there was a lack of big traditions for the IUPUI campus,” says Lindsey Keener, a nursing student and executive director of the Regatta.

2. Practice. Jen Kaido, executive director of the Indianapolis Rowing Center, suggests renting a canoe at Eagle Creek to practice rowing straight, a key to navigating the narrow canal.

3. Wear a costume. Some teams are focused on dominating the half-mile race (the IU School of Dentistry team, a.k.a. the “Odontoblasts,” comes to mind). But there’s also a costume contest open to teams and all spectators, so if you’re not great with an oar (or even competing in the race), put your effort into the outfit.

This article appeared in the September 2013 issue