Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta

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View of the 2002 Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta.

The Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta, named for the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers at Pittsburgh, is an annual motorboat and river festival held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. The festival was first held in 1978[1] and is often host to an F1 ChampBoat Series race. The F1 race, originally held in 1982, was the first F1 power boat race held in the United States.[2] 2008 saw the return of F1 Power Boat racing at the Pittsburgh Regatta after a two-year hiatus following the 2005 festival.[2] The festival had been scheduled to coincide with the July 4th holiday, however 2016 saw a return to the Regatta being held prior in early August, as it traditionally was prior to 2004.[3] The festival is the largest inland regatta in the United States,[4] drawing tens of thousands of fans along Allegheny River. The F1 race course consists of a 4-pin 1.25 (2 km) course.[5] In 2008, the Pittsburgh regatta F1 ChampBoat race was nationally broadcast on the Speed Channel.[6]

The Regatta is the annual continuation of the original speed boat and paddle wheeler races of the "Pittsburgh Welcome Week Regatta" held annually starting on May 21, 1949 and through the mid-1950s.


Festival crowd at Point State Park with the downtown Pittsburgh skyline in the background
Artists working on an annual sand sculpture for the Regatta

The race corresponds to a three-day festival in downtown Pittsburgh consisting of variety of events including free concerts, food vendors, aerial competitions, various water sports, dragon boat races, and the July Fourth fireworks display for the City of Pittsburgh. Over 1.5 million people are estimated to have attended some aspect of the regatta events every year.[4]

1988 Accident[edit]

On August 7, 1988, one of the Formula 1 boats went out of control and crashed into a crowd near Three Rivers Stadium. A 7 year old boy was killed and 24 were injured.[7] The accident was captured on live TV during the broadcast of a Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Mets baseball game from a blimp above the stadium.



Held August 11 & 12 and hosted the "Mid-America Sternwheeler Race" with finishing line being the Smithfield Street Bridge.[8][9]


Place boat number pilot team hometown points
1 42 Shaun Torrente Grand Prix Boats GLBC Homestead, FL 400
2 16 Tim Seebold Bud Light Team Seebold Osage Beach, Missouri 380
3 10 Terry Rinker Rinker/Amsoil Racing Tampa, FL 360
4 38 Jeff Shepherd Shepherd Construction Woodlawn, TN 350
5 17 Brian Venton Jenkinson Telecom/Hancock Inc. Bowmanville, ON 340
6 41 Randy Rinker Rinker/Amsoil Racing Syracuse, Indiana 330
7 72 Lynn Simburger Playcraft Boats Elsah, Illinois 320
8 88 Billy Joule B&B / Joule Marine Transport Tiera Verde, FL 310
9 1 Nithat Kunjeng Singha Beer Thailand 300
10 8 Mark Johnson Pur Sang Engineering Jaffrey, NH 290
11 6 Matt Sadl XG-AD.COM/Massageluxe.com Pacific, MO 280


  1. ^ "Regatta Success". The Pittsburgh Press. 1978-07-26. p. B-2.
  2. ^ a b Michael Machosky, Regatta revs up for return of Grand Prix racing, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 2008-06-29, accessdate=2009-03-01
  3. ^ Marylynne Pitz, New-look Regatta ends in a splash of fireworks, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2004-07-05, accessdate=2009-03-01
  4. ^ a b Tim O'Brien, 1.5 Million Head To The River For Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Regatta, Amusement Business, 1999-08-23, accessdate=2009-03-01
  5. ^ The Official Site of F1 ChampBoat Racing: Jul 3-4 Pittsburgh, PA, accessdate=2009-03-01
  6. ^ City's Enthusiasm Over Three Rivers Regatta Grows, WPXI Pittsburgh, 2008-06-05, accessdate=2009-03-01
  7. ^ [1] The Three Rivers Regatta Accident: An EMS Perspective
  8. ^ The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search
  9. ^ The Pittsburgh Press - Google News Archive Search

External links[edit]