Nfld. & Labrador

Regatta sculpture will motivate crews: rower

The thousands of onlookers expected to watch the Royal St. John's Regatta Wednesday will see a new rower at Quidi Vidi Lake – but he won't be moving particularly quickly.

The thousands of onlookers expected to watch the Royal St. John's Regatta Wednesday will see a new rower at Quidi Vidi Lake – but he won't be moving particularly quickly.

A life-sized bronze statue of a male rower was unveiled Monday at Quidi Vidi Lake.

It depicts a man sitting in a racing shell and pulling an oar across the water.

The Rower was built by Morgan MacDonald, a recent graduate of Memorial University's fine arts program. It is his first major work of public art.

Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, who donated $135,000 to the project, said she would like to see more public art in St. John's.

"I would like to have art out on the sidewalk that we have to trip over, and for people to be able to interact with the art," she says.

The Rower was placed near the starting line for all of the Regatta races.

Lorraine Williams, who rows with the Bella Vista women's team, says the statue will provide a lot of inspiration for crews heading out to the pond.

"I think it will be a real motivator," she says.

"To take a look at that, just before the gun goes off … you're a piece of history. You know, 187 years – you're a piece of the past."

Unlike most public holidays in Canada, the Regatta holiday is dependent on the weather. The Regatta Committee is expected to make its decision Wednesday morning at 6 a.m.

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