There was the Ariel Regatta which was a race first held in 1979 between a point just West of Tide Point and the Inner Harbor. But as those of you who have rowed to the Inner Harbor know… boat traffic can provide some challenges. To quote Steve Perry who organized the early regattas, “After the second [regatta]we realized how unsafe and impractical [it was]to race in the IH on a weekend.”
In 1984 the docks at Baltimore Rowing Club’s first home in Fells Point were temporarily “moved” to the shores of Baltimore’s Middle Branch Park and what was then the future site of the current Boathouse. But unlike Charm City Sprints, the Ariel Regatta was a 2k race and the start was out by Med Star Harborview Hospital and the finish line was at Glass Beach… which has a shoreline that has been filled in some since the early 80s.
That year they held 14 events between 11am and 4pm and the “Middle Branch’s grassy slopes…” promised a great viewing environment for spectators.
Which leads us to last week’s “Do You Know?” question. Former BRC president Helmut Berthold correctly identified the structure as the judge’s finish line stand. Located in what is now a wooded area between the marina and Glass Beach, the stand was used by the finish line judge who had a string lined up with the two double diamonds on the railroad bridge to the North. The structure once had a cover of some sort to provide protection from the sun and rain, but otherwise is still intact including a substantial concrete foundation.
[SIDE NOTE: If you are like me… you assumed that the two diamonds on the railroad bridge was some sort of navigation or warning sign which is an inaccurate assumption. They were put up by some of the early members of BRC for the sole purpose of marking the finish line for the regatta.]
Do You Know?
Below is a BRC membership card from the early 1980s. Do you know why it shows “1864” instead of some date in the 1980s? Look for a future Throwback Thursday post that will give the answer that question and more history of the Baltimore Rowing Club.