Frostbite Regatta glides by with Shocker Rowing at the bow

With a high of 68 degrees, the 22nd annual Frostbite Regatta didn’t hold up to its name this year. There was a little wind, but it was far from cold.

Rowers come from all over Kansas and the surrounding states for this race, which traditionally takes place on the first Sunday in November.

The race is always in the same spot along the Little Arkansas, right where it meets up with the Big Arkansas at The Keeper of the Plains.

The Frostbite Regatta normally draws in a fairy large crowd. This may be because it takes place in a particularly beautiful part of Wichita during fall, and partly because the event allows for competitors from juniors in high school through masters, which allows for older racers.

Frostbite is a headrace; contestants start from staggered points along the river and are ranked based on time. This is opposed to a sprint race, where several boats start at the same point and the first to cross the finish line is declared winner.

The Wichita State University rowing team naturally makes a presence at Frostbite each year.

The team is lead by Coach Calvin Cupp, who is in his 12th year as head coach, and Assistant Coach Jane Detwiler, who joined the team this year.

Shockers did well at the regatta. They competed in the first of 12 races at 8:40 a.m. By 2 p.m., Shockers had medaled in every event they had raced in.

“We had a lot of people coming off the water feeling like they did well and like they pushed themselves,” Detwiler said. “We had a lot of fun and overall it was a great day.”

WSU crew is open for all students to join. Connor Orth, a freshman at WSU, is in his first semester of rowing.

He was excited to be competing in his first open regatta.

At Frostbite, he competed in the Men’s Novice Four and the Men’s Novice Eight. Novice races are for first-year rowers.

“There’s something that happens when everyone on your boat is rowing in sync,” said Orth, “it feels like you’re floating above the water, like you’re flying.”