World’s Largest Rowing Boat Will Be In Chattanooga During The 2015 Head Of The Hooch Rowing Regatta

Monday, October 19, 2015
University of NC men and women rowing on Jordan Lake, NC on Sept. 18
University of NC men and women rowing on Jordan Lake, NC on Sept. 18
- photo by William Esterhuizen

The Stämpfli Express is the world’s largest rowing boat at 144 feet, 926 pounds, and can hold 24 rowers and a coxswain. It is made up of three, eight-person shells bolted together to form one rowing shell. Originating from Switzerland in 2001, it will have traveled to several U.S. regatta’s including the Head of the Charles (Boston) and the Head of the Schuylkill (Philadelphia) before making its appearance in Chattanooga. The Head of the Hooch, the second largest rowing regatta in the nation, will be held in Chattanooga Nov. 7-8. Attendance is expected to be more than 16,000 with an estimated economic impact of $5,618,000.

On Nov. 5 and 6, rides are open to rowing crews, corporate teams or anybody who wants to get a taste of rowing. These Thursday and Friday rides do not require any experience. Cost is $25 per seat.

On Nov. 7 and 8, rides are open to experienced rowers only because they will be rowing around the Hooch competitors. Cost is $50 per seat. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to the local Chattanooga rowing initiative and the National Rowing Foundation. Registration is available online at

“The Stampfli made its debut in the U.S. on Jordan Lake. The rowers and the community had a blast.  We hope that the Stämpfli Express will encourage people to take a look at rowing and rowing clubs in their community. An outing in the Stampfli Express is the first step,” said William Esterhuizen, Head of the Hooch committee member and key initiator for the USA tour of the Stampfli.

Doug BeVille, Head of the Hooch assistant director said, “We are delighted that Stämpfli decided to come to Chattanooga to demonstrate the Stämpfli Express. It’s unique in rowing to have a shell that can seat 24 rowers and a coxswain. The Stämpfli Express is basically three eight-person shells bolted together to form a shell 144 feet long. It’s very stable and even inexperienced people can learn to row in this amazing boat.”

Meghan Brundage, Riverside Boat Club member & Women Rowers Professional Network founder said, “The boat has surprising set and send. It was comfortable, fun, and fast. I sat in the 23rd seat and it was incredible to turn around and see 22 rowers behind me. The spirit of the US tour is impressive with a mission to be innovative, share something fun, and provide a unique opportunity for people to learn how to row. Melchior Bürgin is investing in each community by allowing them to use the boat as a fundraiser to benefit local clubs. This kind of pay-it-forward investment in the greater rower community is heart-warming and contagious.”

Crew rowing the Stampfli on the Potomac, DC on Sept. 27
Crew rowing the Stampfli on the Potomac, DC on Sept. 27
- Photo2 by Dan Ketelsen

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