An Inside Look at the 14th Annual IUPUI Regatta

Sept. 24 was IUPUI’s 14th annual Regatta, a traditional canoe race on the Central Canal in downtown Indianapolis.    

Students watched their peers compete in the canoe race, visited student organization booths in Military Park, viewed a dog costume contest and watched live performances at the Regatta Music Festival.

Natalie Holmes, a junior majoring in Forensic and Investigative Sciences, and Lainy McCoy, a senior majoring in nursing, were crowned this year’s Regatta Royalty. Both students received a $500 scholarship for their philanthropic activity

Jonathan Rendon, a first-year student majoring in A.I. and Informatics, participated in the canal race with friends. 

“It all started in our first-year seminar. It was me and a bunch of my friends and they all decided, ‘Hey, let’s join the Regatta!’ and I thought it was a joke,” Rendon said“They asked me to participate in it and I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’ Then they made the actual team, and I was like: ‘Okay, I guess we’re actually doing this then.’”  

“‘Don’t fall off the boat, don’t tip over',” was his first thought when the time came to compete, “and once we got in it and we got a high boost, it was just trying to do full rows and get there the fastest without hitting the walls," said Rendon.

"You have this mindset that’s like, ‘Okay, you gotta do this’ but once you’re actually in there, it’s like all plans go away and you’re just trying to keep up or go as fast as you can.” 

He thought his team made an impressive showing for their first Regatta. However, the FIJI and Zeta teams would eventually grasp victory in this year’s races.  “Our team was kind of mad that we lost, but even though it was our first year, honestly, we did pretty good," Rendon said. "We were mad about the Rubber Duckies beating us, so next year, Rubber Duckies, if you’re hearing this, we’re coming for you!" 

Besides the race, Rendon also enjoyed other parts of the event.  

“The food was delicious! There was one booth where it was this Krispy Kreme competition where you had to eat the donut the fastest. I obviously won,”said Rendon. 

He has hopes to participate in Regatta again next year.

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Students and visitors spectating the canal race

Taylor Kiemeyer also competed in this year’s canal race.

Kiemeyer is an exercise science major, who’s on track to graduate in December 2023. 

“I watch it every year and I’ve wanted to every year, but I forgot about the deadlines because it’s as soon as school starts, so I kept reminding myself all Summer to sign up for a team this year,” said Kiemeyer when asked about what made her want to compete. 

Kiemeyer had attended the Regatta previously, but this year was different. She participated in the race with Jagathon’s Team Morale, which was a co-ed team, and Girl Gains Team Two Beasts, which was a women's team. 

Kiemeyer prepared for this year's race with training on top of having experience playing multiple sports. 

“Before we get assigned our clients, we get a partner, and we have to be a personal trainer for our partners for a week or two. When they ask us our goals, I just aim for that so that way when I was in class, I was getting my training,” said Kiemeyer. 

“Carly Gibson, Jenna Nicodemus, Jacob Stewart, Olivia Holmes, and D. Martin.  D and Carly are both in my major. They’re very competitive and I’ve done Morale with them for the past three years, so I know they’ll go really well with this,” Kiemeyer said of her team members.

Kiemeyer enjoyed the other activities at the Regatta Festival as well. 

“I love going around to all the tables and getting free stuff, and then specifically, the dog talent show. I like looking at dogs in costumes!” 

According to Kiemeyer, there were issues with Girl Gains Team Two Beasts’ time results following their race. 

"When our time was posted, it said that we had an average of 5:59 and that we were in first place. When it was time for finals, we went to check in and they told us we weren't in the finals,” said Kiemeyer.

"We showed them the screenshots of our ranking and time and they did some digging and told us we were good and to head back up to the tent. When we went to the tent, they told us they couldn't find us on the roster or our time". 

As Kiemeyer and her teammates showed them the screenshots of their time again, officials at the tent still could not find their time and had told the team they could not participate in the finals. 

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"It was kinda upsetting that we did well but weren't allowed to compete in the finals due to them messing up the times and losing ours. A couple of the girls on our team were freshmen, so they'll have another chance next year, but me and another girl on the team are seniors, and this is our last Regatta and we felt a little cheated, but we appreciated getting to have the experience," said Kiemeyer. 

Regardless, Kiemeyer expressed her enjoyment for the event and has high hopes and goals for her future. 

She hopes to be a physical therapist, preferably for a sports team, with the idea of being an athletic trainer for a team as a back-up plan along with photography following graduation.  

As this year’s Regatta drew to a close, various students got to experience being a part of the tradition and spend time with friends enjoying the many activities of this year's event.

It is likely that the event will continue to evolve in the years to come, opening the door of new experiences for students along the way.  

"Join next year’s Regatta, it’s fun!" said Rendon. "Participate and be there. Honestly, it’s just fun hanging around with your friends!"

Daniel Guevara is a first-year student studying Journalism at the School of Liberal Arts. He is a campus writer for The Campus Citizen.

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