LANGLEY, S.C. (WJBF) — The Augusta Rowing Club returns to Burnettown waters for the regional rowing competition.

It’s been nearly a decade since local rowers had the chance to compete in these waters, here at Langley Pond Park. But Saturday, the Invitation Regatta drought will end.

“The excitement is high– I mean, we’re glad to have people coming back in town. The dam’s been repaired, and the course has been improved, we’re looking forward to growing from here,” Augusta Rowing Club Head Coach Brad Holdren said.

One team bussed all the way from Jacksonville, Florida just to experience the Langley Pond course.

“This course is special ‘cause it’s buoyed, and it helps us practice for race day, ‘cause for nationals we race on a buoyed course as well, and for regionals and other races,” Bolles School Senior Rower Sophia Quirk said.

Saturday, local and regional competitors will finally be able to experience what students from Bolles School already have. 

“The fact that it’s fully buoyed, six lanes across, is fantastic. That’s pretty rare to find in some places, so we really had everything we were looking for,” Bolles School Rowing Head Coach Chris Register said.

The Invitation Regatta starts at 8 am Saturday and will run until 2:30 in the afternoon, but the event isn’t just for rowers.

“If any, any viewers wanna come and bring a frisbee they can play on the disc golf course while they’re watching the races– there’s a lot to do out here,” Holdren said.

While the pond and dam were under construction, the Augusta Rowing Club put in their work to get back out on the water. 

“We were still doing our fall race in November at the Rowing club on the river, we still hosted a summer race called the Southeast Master’s Regionals, and for years we were doing that at Lake Olmstead as a temporary course and now we get to move that back over ere as well,” Holdren said.

And on their return to Jacksonville, rowers from Bolles School say they’ve left spring training better athletes. 

“Rowing up and down buoyed courses and how different buoyed courses are set up and how they affect different boats and being in the fours and watching the quads, and straight fours go down was really influential especially with the poles and the sarding platforms,” Bolles School Senior Rower Avery Goldknopf said.

Rowing teams tell us they were most excited to train at this pond because it gives them more experience in other competitions.