Tulsa Youth Rowing Association Performs Well At the Nationally Renowned Head of the Hooch Regatta

TYRA continued its Fall racing campaign, attending the Head of the Hooch Regatta and achieving several notable high-place finishes. The Head of the Hooch Regatta is one of the world’s largest rowing events annually on the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee. This prestigious two-day event, typically in early November, attracts thousands of rowers from high schools, colleges, and clubs across the United States and other countries. The regatta features various events catering to various skill levels and age groups, including singles, doubles, fours, and eights.

The course of the regatta is known for its scenic yet challenging route, extending over a distance of about 5,000 meters (3.1 miles). The “head” race format used in this regatta is a time-trial competition, where crews start sequentially, racing against the clock rather than side-by-side. This format tests not only the speed and endurance of the rowers but also their strategic abilities in navigating and overtaking other boats.

Halee McMahan (Booker T. Washington) and Emory Oakes (Lincoln Christian) rowed a fast race to place 11th out of 69 crews in the women’s youth U19 double on the first day of competition. In the same event, Kai Lukenbaugh and Blair Klingeman placed 49th.

“I’m glad we could return to such a large head race this year. The last time we went, in 2021, I had no significant achievements, so it was great to redeem myself. I am proud of my accomplishments, which highlight my progress in the past two years.” said Team Captain Halee McMahan on her performance. 

McMahan and Oakes placed 10th and 15th during the Sunday racing in the Women’s U19 single.

Leighton Warren (Homeschool) placed 22nd out of 45 boats in the Women’s U17 single.  

On the men’s side of our team, Samson Derricot (Owasso) and Jacob McKinney (Bixby) stepped up to the challenging level of competition with a 36th out of 65 placing in the Mens Youth U19 double with Will Johns (Bixby) and Andrew Johns (Bixby) placing 16th out of 52 in the Mens Youth Under 17 double.

“I’m proud of my effort with my brother. I think we did the best we could have, and all the hard work and improvement over the season turned into this great result,” said Andrew Johns. 

four head of the hooch tyra

“Head of the Hooch was a successful trip for our team. We had several boats place in the top half and had some major improvements in time. Halee and I had a great race, and it was an awesome last Hooch!” said Team Captain Emory Oakes.

“It was a great weekend visiting Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Head of the Hooch Regatta.  The regatta hosted over 180 teams and more than 2,000 different boats.  Our results included multiple top-ten, top-fifteen, and top-half finishes in competitive and large events, which was great.  Overall, we represented Tulsa and the Tulsa Youth Rowing Association incredibly well, both on the water and off.  I’m proud of the athletes and grateful for our amazing parents’ support.  We are set on wrapping up our season in Waco, Texas, at the Head of the Brazos Regatta.  Go Tulsa!” said TYRA Head Coach Valentino Angelini.