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Frequently Asked Questions
Who is “Dad” Vail 
Harry Emerson “Dad” Vail was one of America’s early college coaches. He coached at the University of Wisconsin between 1911 and the late 1920’s. His crews competed against great odds since there was little sport for the sport and little rowing took place in Wisconsin. Crew candidates often went out for other sports. He persisted, however, drawing on a lovable personality and great respect for hard work. His efforts were recognized more widely outside the Badger State than where he coached. He died on October 8, 1928. The regatta is lovingly named for him. 
Where is Kelly Drive? 
Kelly Drive is in the Fairmount Park section of Philadelphia, Pa. This Mecca of rowing is located on the east bank of the Schuylkill River just northwest of Center City Philadelphia. 
How do I get to Kelly Drive? 
For directions go to our web site and click on About Us, or For Spectators, or For Sponsors and Vendors or For Competitors; then scroll down to Destination Dad Vail followed by Directions and Maps.  
Where is the Grand Stand?  
2200 Kelly Drive, Philadelphia, PA 19129 
Are racers at Boat House Row?  
No. Go two miles north to the Grand Stand. 
Do you sell a Program?  
Yes, at the Grand Stand. 
When do Colleges race?  
Refer to the Heat Sheets posted on the web site at 
What’s a Heat Sheet?  
Heat Sheets describe the Day’s races telling who rows when, and in which lane. Separate Heat Sheets are published for the Qualifying races (All day Friday), the Semi final races (Saturday morning), and the Final races (Saturday afternoon). 
You can find heat sheets, schedules and race results on this web site, Note: Heat sheets are generated by the regatta organizers shortly before races begin on Friday, and may be updated as heats are completed.  
How/where do I find race results? 
From the public address system after each race or on the web at 
Is there parking for the Handicapped?  
Where do I park for the regatta? 
Enter Kelly Drive from the north or south and follow parking directional signs. 
Are cars allowed to park on Kelly Drive? 
Yes, with proper official window stickers visible on windshields. Remember, however, parking is limited on the drive.  
The Handicapped. Are they allowed on Kelly Drive? 
Yes, with marked handicapped license plates or window tags hanging from rear view mirrors. 
How do we get from the parking area to Kelly Drive to watch the races?  
Shuttle buses take spectators to the drive. The buses follow a route through the parking area to Kelly Drive and then to the Art Museum on Pennsylvania Ave. There they turn around and retrace their route returning to the parking area. Shuttles have four stops: Canoe Club, Grand Stand (The Finish Line), Rowers' Village (where crews assemble) and the Art Museum for the trip back. The shuttle is FREE. 
Where is the best place to meet rowers? 
At the Rowers Village. Cell phones will be helpful. 
Does public transportation travel to Kelly Drive? 
Yes. SEPTA buses 32 and 38 run though center city on J.F.K. Blvd. and Pennsylvania Blvd. Get off near the Art Museum and look for regatta shuttle buses assembling on Pennsylvania Ave. for the return route north on Kelly Drive.  
What does it cost to enter the regatta? 
Nothing. It’s FREE 
What’s the best place to watch the races? 
The Grand Stand 
Where are Alumni Tents located? 
North of the Grand Stand seats. 
Are spectators allowed to bring lunches? 
Yes, and beach chairs. and pets on leaches providing their pet’s Pooper Scoopers. Alcoholic beverages are sold in the Food Court. 
Are there refreshments? 
Yes, at the Food Court 
Are there Medical Facilities at the Dad Vail Regatta? 
Yes, There are Emergency Vehicles on hand at several locations for rowers, staff and spectators.  
How do I find the names of the entries and the times of the races? 
Buy a Dad Vail Program with Heat Sheets at the Grand Stand. 
Where’s the Starting Line? 
Just north of the intersection of Hunting Park Drive and Kelly Drive. 
How long is the race course? 
2,000 meters. This is an Olympic length course. 
Where’s the Finish Line? 
At the Grand Stand. 
How many race lanes are there? 
How many races are there? 
Over 175. 
When do races begin? 
Generally, races begin at 7 a.m. on both Friday and Saturday and end around 5 p.m. 
Under what conditions will races be halted? 
Generally, if the water is very rough, or debris is blocking the lanes, or lightning is in the sky, races will be halted. Rain of and by itself will not necessarily stop the races. Officials make the final decision on all stoppages.  
How many colleges enter the Dad Vail Regatta? 
128 schools entered the Dad Vail Regatta in 2013, making the Dad Vail the largest college regatta in North America 
When did the Dad Vail Regatta Begin? 
What colleges competed in the first Dad Vail Regatta? 
Marietta, Rutgers and Manhattan. Marietta was the winner. 
Who started the regatta? 
The Dad Vail Regatta was started by two men with ties to rowing at the University of Pennsylvania. The individuals were ‘Rusty’ Callow and Lev Brett. Callow was then coach at Penn and laid the foundation. Brett was credited with being the architect. Their goal was to have a college regatta for developing crew programs. 
Has the Regatta been held continuously since 1934? 
Yes, Except for the WWII years. 
When did the Regatta become a permanent fixture in Philadelphia 
Where can I go for Public Information? 
Ed Levin  
Publicity Director  
Dad Vail Regatta  
610-246-5902 (Cell) 
What is the official Dad Vail Regatta web site? 
Who runs the Dad Vail Regatta? 
The Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee. Jack Galloway is Chairman and Jim Hanna is President. The DVROC is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization. 
Does the Dad Vail Regatta have a presence on Facebook and Twitter? 
Yes. You can follow the regatta on Facebook and Twitter. Please click the links below for more information: 
Dad Vail Regatta on Twitter... Dad Vail Regatta on Facebook... 
By Harry Stinger 

Content reviewed and published: 11/9/2015 2:26:43 PM
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