Atlantic City, NJ Will Host Sanctioned Indoor Rowing Championships
This is the first confirmation that Atlantic City, New Jersey will host a new format, sanctioned USRowing Indoor Rowing Championships event, to be held on February 3-5, 2023 at The Atlantic City Convention Center.
Former New Jersey Senator William L. Gormley originated the idea and has worked with various key partners to formally establish the Atlantic City Indoor Rowing Association, Inc., where Gormley serves as President.
One of the first key partners that Gormley sought out to connect with was Dan Garbutt. Garbutt is the longtime head coach of the Old Dominion University women’s rowing program.
Garbutt has left coaching, but, not his passion for the sport of rowing … retiring from collegiate coaching and now teaching, while still coaching swimming and rowing.
Garbutt is a 2001 graduate of Princeton University and was a member of the United States national rowing team in 1998.
Garbutt’s pedigree in the sport of rowing goes back a lifetime.
Gormley has been effusive in his praise for Garbutt and his various key working partners throughout the formulation of this grand idea.
I would like to thank Governor (Phil) Murphy and Senator (Vince) Polistina for their enthusiastic support of the Indoor Rowing Championships in Atlantic City. Our lead sponsor, ACDEVCO - Jon Hanson and Chris Paladino, have been invaluable in their leadership and support. Atlantic Shores, Lee Levine and Finn Wentworth are not only sponsors, but are active supporters of urban rowing opportunities. Harvey and Lynne Kesselman are tireless in their efforts to not just make Stockton University a national rowing powerhouse, but in enhancing rowing participation in the entire region. The support of the Atlantic City Convention Center and its world class staff has been excellent. Finally, to Doc Holland and Stan Bergman, thanks for making this region a national rowing mecca.
We reached out to Stockton University President, Dr. Harvey Kesselman for his analysis of what this major special event will mean for the Atlantic City area and the sport of rowing.
“Some of our country's greatest rowers and coaches come from Atlantic and our surrounding counties. It is only fitting that this championship be held in Atlantic City,” said Kesselman.
Garbutt is very bullish about the upcoming Atlantic City Indoor Rowing Championships.
The timing of Gormley’s idea could not have been more fortuitous. It provided Garbutt with the opportunity to present the concept of a whole new format at the annual USRowing Coaching Convention. It was met with great enthusiasm.
Garbutt’s idea is to do something that’s never been done before. ”We’re going to do the standard 2,000 and 500-meter races,” said Garbutt. “But, these standard events will not be the stars of this unique inaugural championship event,” said Garbutt.
Garbutt confirmed “that 8 overall groups will be tested,” including:
- Alumni competition.
- Lifeguard component.
- Along with all of the traditional age groups.
“USRowing has entered into an agreement with the Bill Gormley group,” said Garbutt.
100 Ergometers will be set up in the Atlantic City Convention Center for the competition. In addition, another 25 ergometers will be in place for the competitors to properly warmup.
Garbutt also confirmed that the USRowing rowing convention will be a combined event, designed to bring tourism to Atlantic City.
Gormley has a specific vision, to tie-in other important community oriented elements, that he will announce at a later date … these additional enhancements will be key components of this inaugural championship event.
Gormley is partnering with 2008 & 2012 United States Olympian David Banks, who is serving on Gormley’s Atlantic City Indoor Rowing Association, Inc. Board of Directors.
Garbutt believes that “this is a unique partnership, the first and one of a kind event. With the different formatting, it's designed to grab non-traditional competitors, in addition to the established rowing community. Any one who has ever touched an oar handle, we want them to come,” said Garbutt.
Garbutt shared that this is an officially sanctioned rowing championship, with an emphasis placed on the new format.
To convey what a substantial event this will be, Garbutt advised that the Atlantic City USRowing Indoor Rowing Championships … “the 3 days will mirror what the world championships did in 2021,” said Garbutt.
“It’s a great example of Bill (Gormley) being Bill. Connecting people at all levels,” said Garbutt.
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