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    Best of 2023 – Event of the Year – Honorable Mention

    The 2023 Best Of series features the athletes, events, and moments that mattered in the year in rowing.
    Event of the Year Honorable Mention: USRowing Youth National Championships

    The existence of a single unified and recognized youth national championship is the greatest non-Olympic accomplishment of USRowing in the last century. Before the 1990s, multiple regattas claimed, unconvincingly, to be the national championship. That all changed when the national governing body inaugurated the youth national championship in the mid-90’s, an event that continues bigger and better than ever at Florida’s Nathan Benderson Park, America’s world-class rowing venue.

    Covid disrupted the regatta, and a bungled attempt at a “stay-to-play” hotel-revenue scheme by USRowing ruffled feathers, but the introduction of age-based events instead of lightweight categories for minors has been a positive evolution and a credit to the United States Rowing Association (USRowing’s proper name). The 2023 USRowing Youth National Championship Regatta, during which 4,000 athletes vied for more than 30 national titles, was the pinnacle of American youth rowing and sculling.

    Best of 2023 – Event of the Year – Honorable Mention

    The 2023 Best Of series features the athletes, events, and moments that mattered in the year in rowing.
    Event of the Year Honorable Mention: ACRA Championships

    Collegiate club-rowing programs enjoy fewer resources and less support generally than collegiate varsity programs. But at their championship regatta, American Collegiate Rowing Association member clubs enjoyed a season-culminating experience on Melton Town Lake in Oak Ridge, Tenn., that was every bit as good as—and in some ways, including weather and officiating, better than—the IRA and NCAA championship regattas.

    Best of 2023 – Club of the Year

    The 2023 Best Of series features the athletes, events, and moments that mattered in the year in rowing.
    Club of the Year: RowAmerica Rye

    RowAmerica Rye grew on the stretch of southern Connecticut waterfront that’s been producing many of the nation’s fastest youth, club, and masters crews for the past 20 years. At this year’s USRowing Summer National Championships, RowAmerica built on its Youth Nationals success, where the club had 16 crews racing in the Sunday finals, including the men’s youth eight (which it won), by entering 33 events and winning 22 medals. RowAmerica Rye ran away with the overall-points trophy and set a high mark for accomplishment by a single club in a single year.

    NCAA Proposes Paying DI Athletes


    Yesterday, NCAA president Charlie Baker laid out a plan that would radically reshape the college athletics landscape. In a letter to all 362 Division I member institutions, Baker proposed a new subdivision within DI for the highest-resourced universities. This group would not only be able to directly compensate student-athletes, but actually be required to invest at least $30,000 per year into an enhanced educational trust fund for at least half of their student athletes, in compliance with Title IX. Additionally, institutions in this new subdivision would be required to work together to create rules that may differ from the rest of DI on a wide range of policies, including scholarships, roster size, recruitment, transfers, or Name Image Likeness.

    Baker argues that this change would give “the educational institutions with the most visibility, the most financial resources and the biggest brands an opportunity to choose to operate with a different set of rules that more accurately reflect their scale and their operating model.”

    This is not an edict and President Bake does not have the authority to institute such changes himself. Instead, this is meant to provide a framework for future changes to the system directly to the athletic administrators and college presidents who make up the NCAA governing bodies, which have historically taken over a year to propose and pass legislation.

    Read more about the move from The New York Times.

    Where Have All the Women Coaches Gone? – Head of the Schuylkill program


    Hidden within the pages of the Head of the Schuylkill program, an article’s title cries out, pointedly, “Where Have All The Women Coaches Gone?” The author, Maura Kennedy, a rower herself, set out to write a story highlighting the female head coaches of local rowing programs. Instead, she found a dearth of them. “Out of Philadelphia’s seven largest schools with Division 1 rowing programs, only three of the top collegiate women’s rowing programs have women head coaches (Temple University, Villanova University, and Drexel University). Arguably the oldest rowing community in the United States and a leader in the rowing industry, Boathouse Row and university programs in the Philadelphia area still struggle to break the collegiate coaching glass ceiling and make a historical difference in gender equity,” Kennedy reports. She goes on to carefully catalog this summer’s “exodus” of women coaches from DI and to explore the variety of factors at play nationally resulting in a mere 48.7% of head coaches for DI women’s rowing teams being women. This is not just a pity party, though, as Kennedy concludes the piece with a thorough list of proposed solutions and actionable steps.

    USRowing Announces Paris 2024 Paralympic Selection Camp Invitations


    USRowing is pleased to announce the 13 athletes who have been invited to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Selection Camp this coming January. The camp will select the athletes who will represent the U.S. in the PR3 mixed double sculls and PR3 mixed four with coxswain at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games August 31-September 1 in Paris, France.

    The U.S. won silver medals in both PR3 events at the 2023 World Rowing Championships in Belgrade, Serbia, qualifying both boats for the Paralympic Games. The PR3 mixed four with coxswain boatmates of Ben Washburne, Saige Harper, Alex Flynn, Skylar Dahl, and coxswain Emelie Eldracher are all back with eyes on making the Paris boat, as are PR3 mixed double sculls silver medalists Todd Vogt and Gemma Wollenschlaeger.

    The seven 2023 team members will be joined by three Paralympic veterans and three rookies looking to make their first national team. Dani Hansen, a two-time Paralympic silver medalist in the four, is looking to make her third Paralympic Games, while her fellow Tokyo 2020 silver medalists, Charley Nordin and John Tanguay, are looking to make their second Paralympic team.

    “This will be one of the most competitive PR3 camps we have put together in some time,” said Ellen Minzner, Director of Para High Performance. “Our focus has been on recruiting and retaining top talent, and I think this camp reflects that. I am encouraged by what this could mean for us not only this year, but for the lead up to LA 2028.”

    The camp will take place January 4-16 at Nathan Benderson Park in Sarasota, Fla.

    Selection Camp Invites
    Max Allemeier (Marietta, Ga./Atlanta Junior Rowing Association)
    Skylar Dahl (Minneapolis, Minn./University of Virginia)

    Emelie Eldracher (Andover, Mass./Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

    Alex Flynn (Danvers, Mass./Tufts University)

    Dani Hansen (Patterson, Calif./University of Washington)

    Saige Harper (Easthampton, Mass./Sacred Heart University)

    Ava Liebmann (Rye, N.Y./Duke University)

    Sarah Menefee (Austin, Texas/University of Tulsa)

    Charley Nordin (Alameda, Calif./Gonzaga University)

    John Tanguay (Pennington, N.J./Columbia University)

    Todd Vogt (Rochester, N.Y./University of Buffalo/Portland Boat Club)

    Ben Washburne (Madison, Conn./Williams College)

    Gemma Wollenschlaeger (St. Augustine Beach, Fla./Temple University)

    Tom Siddall, PR3 Mixed Four with Coxswain

    Andrea Thies, PR3 Mixed Double Sculls

    San Diego Crew Classic, RegattaCentral Announce Partnership


    The San Diego Crew Classic has extended its partnership with RegattaCentral, the leading online solutions provider for the rowing community. For the next five years, RegattaCentral will remain the Official Registrar for the event. For almost 20 years, this partnership has played a crucial role in the evolution of one of the nation’s premier rowing events while meeting the rowing community’s changing needs by offering innovative tools for regattas and their participants.

    The origins of the San Diego Crew Classic trace back to the early 1970s when a group of dedicated individuals envisioned a regatta that would not only showcase the athleticism of rowers but also celebrate the beauty of the sport. In 1973, the inaugural Crew Classic took place on Mission Bay, with a handful of collegiate crews participating in what would soon become a hallmark event for the rowing community. Over the years, it has grown to become a premier event that includes masters and youth categories, attracting top crews from across the nation and around the world.

    Mark Rose, the President of the San Diego Crew Classic, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership’s renewal, stating, “We at the Crew Classic are excited to continue our long-term partnership with RegattaCentral. Their product, experienced and helpful staff, and commitment to service and support make them a great teammate. We look forward to working together to make the Crew Classic even better.”

    Steve Lopez, the founder of RegattaCentral, shares Rose’s excitement for the partnership’s future. “We are delighted to extend our partnership with the prestigious San Diego Crew Classic for another five years,” Steve said. “The Crew Classic is renowned for its excellence in rowing events, consistently setting high standards in numerous aspects. At RegattaCentral, we are thrilled to reaffirm our commitment to delivering the exceptional services and innovative solutions that the Crew Classic has come to depend on, and we are excited to continue working closely with them to achieve this.”

    As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, we eagerly anticipate the future, committed to continuing our shared journey of innovation and pushing the boundaries of what is possible for regattas.

    December 2023 Magazine