Fall Fun Regatta brings costumes and camaraderie to Quidi Vidi

Jackie Warfield was at the front of five boats on Saturday at Quidi Vidi Lake while wearing a nightgown and scarf.

Event is designed to be a stress-free closer to rowing season

Jackie Warfield, a coxswain for several rowing crews in St. John's, showed up to the Fall Fun Regatta on Saturday in full mummer attire. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

Jackie Warfield was at the front of five boats on Saturday at Quidi Vidi Lake while wearing a nightgown and a scarf.

On her head, a white doily tucked under a tuque often flapped down over her face as she peered through the cutout floral pattern at the crews rowing before her.

After a long rowing season as a coxswain for several teams, racing while dressed as a mummer was just the kind of break she was looking for.

"It's a nice stress-reliever from the whole rowing season all summer," Warfield said. "It's just a bit of fun, there's no pressure, no stress. Dress up and [have] a nice fun day."

The Social Butterflies — a team that usually rows for Marco in the St. John's Royal Regatta — were one of several costumed crews on the water Saturday. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

Warfield was on the water for the Fall Fun Regatta and Food Fair, the end-of-season event organized by the Royal St. John's Regatta committee.

While the Regatta in August is the place for intense races and hard-core training, the fall event is geared towards ending the season on a high note for everyone.

Among the crews Warfield served as coxswain for on Saturday, one team dressed in '80s exercise apparel and another dressed as mummers.

For Maria Shelley, who rows for a competitive team during the season, it was a great way to end the season on a happy note.

It was perfect weather for the Fall Fun Regatta and Food Fair on Saturday, with a cool breeze and sunshine over Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John's. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

While her team didn't perform as well as they had hoped in the Royal Regatta, they were able to blow off steam and have a laugh on the water during Saturday's races.

"This is just a bit of fun," she said. "We're really happy to be out here today and to see all the other teams dressed up. It's still a little bit competitive, so we have a little bit of competitive blood as well."

Teams showed up dressed in a wide range of costumes, with this group dressed in '80s workout attire and coxswained by a mummer. (Ryan Cooke/CBC)

While no records were set on the water on Saturday, several new crews had the chance to race for the first time.

A full division of the Fall Regatta is dedicated to the Chevron Learn to Row program, which gives beginners three weeks to learn the sport before taking part in the race.

There were also several youth crews, something an experienced coxswain like Warfield was happy to see.

"It's very cool," she said. "You've got the kids, which is great. I love seeing the kids out there having a lot of fun."