Ed Levin
Publicity Director
Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta

Philadelphia, PA (April 29 , 2020) – When preparing his schedule each year Boston University Lightweight women’s rowing coach Malcom Doldron ensures the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, presented by Independence Blue Cross and Coca-Cola will be part of the spring schedule for different reasons.

Coach Doldron sees the Dad Vail Regatta as a great venue for his crew team to prepare for the IRA National Championships. This is because the Dad Vail Regatta, the largest collegiate regatta in North America, will have top competitive teams in every heat.

“Having a heat – final progression is invaluable,” said Doldron in a recent interview conducted on-line. “The Dad Vail serves as the culmination of the year for many programs, and the final tune up for crews heading into their spring championships in the coming weeks. The format adds the right amount of pressure and intensity to the moment, and at each level of the progression, our crews have the opportunity to reach another level of speed.”

With the intensity and pressure kicked up a notch, the Terriers answered the bell the first time in 2018 winning the Women’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight. The exhilaration of winning the Gold at the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta increased the pressure on the following year’s team to defend the Gold. That was the case for the Terriers when they came to town looking to defend their coveted title. In front of a packed sun-soaked grandstand filled with screaming fans, the visitors had to fight off a pesky hometown Drexel crew which they were able to do thus capturing gold for the second consecutive season. “Winning a Dad Vail gold is an experience that I will cherish forever,” said junior coxswain Katie Barnett. “I will never forget racing under the bridge around halfway and calling our bow ball ahead of the other crews. As a lightweight crew, winning last year’s Heavyweight Eight women’s title demonstrated the resilience and tenacity of the crew I had the opportunity to race with. As a coxswain, I have to say rowing to the awards dock and being thrown in the water is one of the most memorable moments because we were all celebrating not only as a boat, but with our coach, Malcolm Doldron.”

“Winning gold at Dad Vails, once in the lightweight eight and twice in the heavyweight eight category, has been one of my favorite memories from my three championship seasons at BU,” said senior captain Sarah Maietta. “Competing with such strong programs at a historic and nationally renowned regatta was always incredibly thrilling to me, and then to win…simply put, I loved it every time.” As the weather started to turn for the better and the 82nd annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta was a mere three months away Coach Doldron had to gather his team to let them know the 2020 spring rowing season came to an abrupt ending due to the pandemic we know as CoVid19 – that forced the cancellation of all sports meaning that this BU Crew must wait until May, 2021 to defend their Dad Vail Title.

“We were actually in Clemson on our Spring training trip the day the Patriot league announced that spring seasons were cancelled,” said Doldron. “Since we were already on the water, we pulled all the boats together to break the news. What followed was the hardest conversation I’ve had with a team in over 25 years of coaching. While there was heart break, frustration, and disappointment of that moment, I saw an amazing sense of resilience and purpose from this group. Our team did exactly what we trained to do when things get difficult and uncomfortable: We trusted in, and relied upon, each other – Just like we did when we defended our Dad Vail Title.”

“As a senior, I wanted so much to have won gold at Dad Vails every spring of my career,” said Maietta “On the list of things I will miss from having this spring cut short, not racing at Dad Vails and defending our two heavyweight titles is close to the top.”

Recommended Posts