This year is the 85th Anniversary of Philadelphia’s Dad Vail Regatta, the largest intercollegiate rowing competition in America.
This yearly competition draws participants from over 100 US Colleges.

This year — at the 85th running of the Dad Vail Regatta — deviated from its traditional position on the Schuylkill River since 1953. Due to dredging in the Schuylkill, this year’s competition will be on the Cooper River in Camden instead.

Operating under what would eventually be the Dad Vail Regatta Rowing Association, the first competition was run in 1934. The association was formed in 1939, and Dad Vail was born.

PHOTO: Wiki Commons

For years, the rowers of the Regatta sailed right past Boathouse Row, first built in the 1870s and which recently had its glow restored just this past year. The Fairmount Park Conservancy joined forces this year with Boathouse Row to spend $2.1 Million to add 6,400 individual LED lights.


The row isn’t the only thing glowing on the river. The iconic Lemon Hill Mansion, which can be seen at night above Boathouse Row, emanates a yellow glow into the Fairmount Park night sky. Henry Platt’s 1800 mansion is a beautifully lit structure against the river at night.

The Dad Vail Regatta was first sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management in 2010 and Thomas Jefferson University in 2019.


It’s iconic Philadelphia, wherever it’s hosted. It always will be.
And who was the big winner this year? It was Philly’s own Drexel University Rowing.

PHOTO: Wiki Commons

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