The Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta was founded by the Braxton family and friends to honor the memory of Bill Braxton, a popular and highly motivated lightweight rower attending Marietta College. In 1972, the Marietta lightweight 8+, in which Bill Braxton rowed bow seat, finished an impressive second in the Dad Vail Regatta. The following year, with Bill rowing seven seat, the Marietta lightweight 8+ went undefeated during the season and won the Dad Vail. Bill was killed later that summer in an auto accident.
The Braxton Regatta, originally sponsored by Crescent Boat Club, moved to the Philadelphia Girls’ Rowing Club in the 1980s. The Braxton family and many of Bill’s friends remain involved in the regatta to this day. Traditionally, the Braxton Regatta is the last regatta of the fall and, as would be seasonally uncharacteristic, is a sprint race. The Braxton Regatta is open to high schools, colleges, and masters.
The Braxton Regatta honors five trophy races named in honor of Bill’s family and closest friends.
- Bill Braxton Sr.- named in honor of Bill’s father.
- Theresa Braxton- named in honor of Bill’s mother.
- Coletta- named in honor of Dr. Tony Coletta, one of Bill’s closest friends and a continued supporter of the Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta.
- Rafferty Cup- named in honor of Bill’s coach, Tom Rafferty.
- Braxton Family- named in honor of Bill’s family who continue to keep his memory and love for rowing alive through their dedication to the Bill Braxton Memorial Regatta.