Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta
Philadelphia, PA (April 9, 2019) – The first two trips to the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, presented by Independence Blue Cross, PECO and Coca-Cola in the short history of the Boston University Women’s Varsity Lightweight Eight program have produced a lifetime of memories for members of this crew and their coach.
In 2017, the Terriers won the Women’s Varsity Lightweight Eight in a “finals only” event defeating Wisconsin by eight hundredths of a second through a steady rain to claim the program’s first ever Dad Vail gold medal.
With Dad Vail featuring competitive races and knowing they wanted a race that featured heats/semis and finals events to help them prepare for the upcoming IRA National Championships, the Terriers knew they would have to register for an event that met those parameters. Last year, the Terriers registered for the Women’s Heavyweight Eight (open division).
Going up against some of the best young crews who have had prior success at the Dad Vail the young Terriers knew they have would have to put together three solid times if they wanted to win the women’s premier event.
After posting solid times in the heats and semi-finals, Coach Malcolm Doldron had a plan for the finals he hoped would be followed.
“We wanted to get to racing cadence and run even splits from start to finish. We’d been racing pretty well throughout the weekend and knew our starts had been solid. If we got off the line well, we’d be in a good place to challenge for the early lead and trust our fitness down the course. It was hard to determine where we were in the first 500 based on the stagger, but we had a good turn and a great view of the field behind us from that point on.”
The Terriers followed the race plan to perfection getting out strong and finishing with open water between them and runner-up UMASS to claim the program’s first Women’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight title.
“It was certainly one of the highlights of our 2018 campaign,” Doldron said. “The weather held up better than 2017 so the grand stands were filled with a boisterous crowd. There’s an energy and excitement surrounding the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta that’s palpable. Add in the fact that they were punching above our weight class against formidable open weight programs, I could tell there were more than a few butterflies in their belly’s during our pre-race meeting. We were thrilled to race down the Schuylkill to win our program’s first Dad Vail Women’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight Championship.”
Doldron, who was celebrating the 20th anniversary of the last time he raced in the Dad Vail as a member of Marietta College under the direction of John Banchieri (who coached at Marietta prior to his tenure at Grand Valley State University) knew when he was hired in 2012 as the program’s first coach, he wanted his team to experience an event like Dad Vail.
Returning everybody from last year’s boat plus the talented freshmen group that entered the program have made for a very competitive off-season when it comes to filling the shell. The 81st annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta will be staged on Friday, May 10 and Saturday, May 11 on the historic Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) is a leader in transdisciplinary, experiential professional education. Jefferson, home of the Sidney Kimmel Medical College and the Kanbar College of Design, Engineering and Commerce, is a comprehensive university delivering high-impact education in 160 undergraduate and graduate programs to 7,800 students in architecture, business, design, engineering, fashion, health, medicine, science and textiles. Jefferson is reimaging the higher education value proposition with an approach that is collaborative and active; increasingly global; integrated with industry; focused on research across disciplines to foster innovation and discovery; and technology-enhanced. Student-athletes compete as the Jefferson Rams in the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.