2011 Occoquan Chase

First published October 6, 2011 – theredlens.com

The 2011 Occoquan Chase could not have been held on a better day. Bright sun, cool weather, and calm winds made spending this fall day outside wonderful for both spectators and rowers.


Sandy Run Regional Park - Photo: Katie Swanson

Beginning in 1993, the Occoquan reservoir has hosted this fall “head” race for hundreds of teams from Virginia and across the country. As a former rower from the west coast, I decided to make it a point to check it out. Like the course I learned to row on, Lake Natoma in Northern California, the Occoquan reservoir is one of the best race courses in the country, and I can see why. A winding three-mile course, viewers can watch from the launch dock, the grandstands at the finish line and on hiking trails snaking along the shoreline. Plenty of places to watch and cheer on the athletes during the long race.

A beautiful day, some great racing, and the backdrop of the changing leaves. The Occoquan Chase might become an annual event for me.