Category Archives: Regattas/Races

January Virtual Team Challenge and Head of the Schuylkill Results

Hi All,
Thanksgiving is over and, while the stores are readying themselves for Christmas, we, amongst the alumni, look beyond this minor celebration and focus on the most important holiday season of all: the January Virtual Erg Challenge.  Every year we compete against the Spartan Alumni Rowing Association from Case Western Reserve and a team fielded by the University of Chicago Varsity with a little trash talk on the side to make things fun.  If you haven’t participated in the past, create your logbook at the Concept 2 website and start logging meters (its on the honor system, cheating would be kind of pathetic):
Don’t forget to add yourself to our team, U Chicago Alumni Crew.  If you’ve done the challenge in the past, don’t forget to activate your logbook for this years challenge.  Concept 2 is jumping the shark and trying to run challenges all year round, so feel free to get in practice during the “Holiday Challenge” which is a non-team event that runs now through 12/26.  January is all that really counts.  We’ve been growing in participation since it started in January of 2006.  It would be awesome if we could reach new records in numbers of rowers and meters rowed!
In other news, the men’s alumni team was fortunate enough to get into Philly  just ahead of Sandy and pull together for a swift race in the Open Men’s Club Eights at the Head of the Schuylkill.  The weather, at least for the time we were on the water, was terrific.  This was the sixth year that we’ve fielded an alumni boat, which seems like a pretty amazing thing.  Over the years that we’ve been doing this, there have been rowers in the boat who I wouldn’t have known, but for rowing with them at this race.  I think it reminds all involved that it’s a fantastic thing to row a boat together.  Anything that you might think of one another before the race, good or bad, goes out the door in the course of the event and at the end there’s little left except for the unity of having completed the race together, knowing that could not have been accomplished without every one in that boat.  Again, that’s pretty amazing.  But, we, being former U of C rowers, are not satisfied.  We’d very much like to get more people involved for next year.  John Bretscher AB ’83 put forward the idea of helping to subsidize a boat of younger rowers next year and a number of alumni have signed on.  So, if you’ve been thinking about it in the past, think on it a little more in the future and get in touch as the time for next years Schuylkill draws closer.
Albert A. Bowers AB ’01

Team takes medal at Dad Vail Regatta

GREAT NEWS! The UChicago men’s varsity lightweight four placed third at the Dad Vail Regatta with a time of 6:46.56. This is the first Chicago boat to medal at Vails in around 30 years. I have heard rumors that the last boat(s) to do this may have been back in the late seventies or early eighties. Way to go guys!!! This is a major accomplishment and something worth celebrating at the annual Row & BBQ this year. Remember, that’s June 4-5 this year.

You can view a photo album of this year’s Dad Vail races here.


Just a quick note to any alumni who might be thinking of heading to Indianapolis this weekend to cheer the team on: MACRAs has been moved to Grand Rapids, MI due to weather making Indianapolis’ site unrowable.  They will be racing in Bass River Park, Ottawa County. There is no revised schedule as of yet, but races will probably start around 8am.

Please contact Chelsea Steffen if you need further directions chelsea(dot)steffen(at)gmail(dot)com

Events Update

Dear Alumni,

Hello everyone, here are a few updates/reminders/things to put in your calendars:

May 17th (Monday)-Boat Naming

This year, the UChicago Crew team bought two brand spanking new Pocock fours.  The varsity squads have had a great year rowing in them, with the women and men respectively, placing 3rd and 5th at the Head of the Charles, 2nd and 3rd at URAs, and 2nd and 3rd at MACRAs, among many other notable finishes.

These wonderful boats have yet to be named.  Thanks to two anonymous donors, one of our Pocock fours will be named in honor of former coach Amanda Carson.  We are planning on having the boat naming ceremony Monday, May 17th at 7:30pm.  Location is still TBD, but will most likely be on the main quad as we have done for past namings.   If you are interested in attending, or would like to donate money, please e-mail me so we can have a head count.  There will be cake!

June 5th (Saturday)-Alumni Row and BBQ

The Saturday of Alumni Weekend we will be having an alumni row in the morning followed by a BBQ at the Point in the afternoon.  What better way to spend the morning than rowing on the Chicago River!  We will be taking out mixed eights of alumni and current members of the team with coaches following in a launch.  Our site is located near Eleanore and Loomis but we will be able to provide transportation from Henry Crown Field House if you are unable/don’t want to drive to the site.

The BBQ will be held at the point later in the afternoon, around 1:30pm.

Please let me know if you will be able to attend the row and/or the BBQ.  If you are able to come to the row, please also indicate which side you row to help in putting the boat together.  Details will be provided as to the exact times, transportation, etc when I have a better idea of how many people will be able to attend.

Please feel free to e-mail me any other questions/comments you might have.

Hope to see you at these events!

Chelsea Steffen

University of Chicago

Undergraduate Class of 2012


Dad Vail Regatta leaving Philly for New Jersey

The end of an era?


The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – A college rowing event that has been held in Philadelphia for more than a half-century is moving to New Jersey for 2010.

Spokesman Harry Stinger confirms Tuesday that next May’s Dad Vail Regatta will be held 90 miles northeast of Philadelphia in Rumson, N.J.

Organizers say city costs have doubled and corporate donations have dipped, and Rumson offered to contribute $250,000 to next year’s race. John Ekdahl, mayor of the Monmouth County town, says officials are thrilled and think the event will benefit Rumson and other towns along the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers.

Stinger says the Dad Vail was actually held in Rumson one year in the 1930s. Held in Philadelphia since 1953, the two-day event attracted 122 schools last year and draws about 30,000 to 35,000 spectators.

The original article can be found here.

Additional pictures

There are additional pictures of the Alumni Boat from the Head of the Schuylkill race over at the Sportgraphics website.

Head of the Schuylkill Results

Alumni Eight at Head of the Schuylkill 2009

Alumni Eight at Head of the Schuylkill 2009. Top row (l-r): Chris Phillips, Dan Carney, Jeff Hreben, Matt Healy, Mike McGowan, Chris Noto. Bottom row: Albert Bowers, Seth Hillbrand, Lissa Krawczyk.

This past weekend an alumni men’s eight competed in the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Philadelphia, PA.  Through wet conditions and a rapid warm up on the way to the start, our boat crossed the finish line with a time of 16:54, coming in 29th out of 30 (beating University of Delaware). Not bad considering we were racing all young-uns. The official lineup from stern to bow:

Lissa Krawczyk (cox), AB’03
Albert Bowers, AB’01
Mike McGowan, AB’03
Matt Healy, Brooks’99
Chris Noto, SB’01
Dan Carney, AB’01
Jeff Hreben, AB’05
Chris Phillips, AB’02
Seth Hillbrand, AB’00

Great job everyone, and special thanks to Lissa for stepping up on short notice!

Is there a race somewhere you’d like to organize an alumni boat for racing? Let us know!