Baptiste, Dougherty, Mahmud Named to DVROC Board of Directors

For Immediate Release

Ed Levin
Publicity Director
Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta


PHILADELPHIA – The Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee announced today that La Salle University Director of Athletics Brian Baptiste, Temple University Senior Associate Athletics Director Larry Dougherty and Drexel University Associate Head Coach of Rowing Asiya Mahmud have been named to its Board of Directors.

“We are excited to add these three high quality individuals to our Board of Directors,” said DVROC President Jim Hanna. “Brian and Larry are veteran administrators who bring a wealth of experience and love for the sport of rowing to the Board while Asiya brings a unique and much-needed perspective as she was a Dad Vail Regatta gold medal winner, rowing for Drexel, and has successfully coached more than one Dad Vail championship crews.”

Brian Baptiste

Baptiste, who is in his second year leading the La Salle athletics department, has served in various roles of administration over his 12-year career in intercollegiate athletics.  Upon earning his law degree from St. Thomas University in Miami (2008), Baptiste went into the field of compliance working at Georgetown University (2009-10) and the University of Delaware (2010-13) before moving on to Northwestern University in 2013.

At Northwestern, the Cheverly Md. native spent two years as the Wildcats Associate Director of Compliance before being elevated to Deputy Director of Athletics for Capital Projects and Operations in 2015.  In this role, he led successful efforts for the completion of multiple athletics facilities, including the $270 million Ryan Fieldhouse, Wilson Field and Walter Athletics Center.  The 2005 Towson University graduate also worked closely with Learfield IMG to secure lucrative corporate sponsorship agreements during his time at Northwestern.

“I am humbled and honored to represent La Salle University on the Board of Directors of the pre-eminent regatta on the Schuylkill River,” Baptiste said. “Throughout my career, I have known the significance of the Dad Vail Regatta. In speaking with former Explorers over the past year, their stories reinforced just how important an event it is to the collegiate rowing experience. Philadelphia is the best city in the country for the sport, and I can’t wait to be a part of an historic organization.”


Larry Dougherty

One of the top communications professionals in college athletics, Dougherty has worked the past 32 plus years in the Philadelphia area promoting and publicizing student-athletes at both Temple University (2003-) and Saint Joseph’s University (1988-03).  Besides his primary role leading the Owls’ strategic communications department, the Upper Darby, Pa. native has also served as Temple’s varsity sport administrator for men’s crew and women’s rowing for the past six years.

Dougherty, who earned both his bachelor’s (1982) and master’s (1995) degrees from Saint Joseph’s, is a Past President of the College Sports Information Directors of America (2011) and has served on the ECAC-SIDA Board of Directors (2006-08).  He also was instrumental in creating Philly-SIDA in 2003, an organization of Philadelphia area communications professionals that have honored over 1000 student-athletes from all collegiate levels for academic and athletic success.

“This is truly an incredible honor to be asked to join such a prestigious Board dedicated to continuing one of Philadelphia’s greatest events – the Dad Vail Regatta,” said Dougherty.  “I have enjoyed being a part of the Dad Vail Regatta as an administrator for the past four decades, helping promote Saint Joseph’s and Temple rowers.  I look forward to working with my fellow Board members to continue the incredible success of the premier collegiate rowing championship in the United States.”

Asiya Mahmud

Mahmud, a 2012 Drexel University graduate, is in her sixth season on the rowing staff of her alma mater.  The Mays Landing, N.J. native was elevated this September to the position of associate head coach and in her new role continues direct coaching responsibilities while also assuming an increased role in Drexel Rowing’s operations and fundraising initiatives.

Following her undergraduate rowing career where she won gold at the Dad Vail Regatta, Mahmud served one season (2014-15) as an assistant coach at Bucknell University. In her return to Drexel, she helped lead the Dragons to gold medals in the varsity (2017) and second varsity (2018) eights.  Drexel also captured its first Dad Vail Regatta women’s title in 2017.

“After working with the Dad Vail Solidarity Committee this summer, I am humbled to be elected as a member of the board,” said Mahmud. “It is a privilege to serve with the organization having competed and coached in the Regatta. I’m excited to be on the board and to further the goals and mission of the Regatta.”

Baptiste, Dougherty and Mahmud will begin their three-year terms on the DVROC Board of Directors in January 2021.


Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee Announces Winners of 18th annual Art Poster Contest

For Immediate Release

Ed Levin
Publicity Director
Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta


18th Annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta Art Poster Contest Winners announced

 Philadelphia, Pa (December 1, 2020) – The Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee (DVROC), organizers of the prestigious Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, presented by Independence Blue Cross, Coca-Cola and PECO are pleased to announce the winners of the 18th Annual Dad Vail Regatta Art Poster Contest staged last spring for budding young artists attending Philadelphia area public, private and parochial schools.

Customarily judged in connection with the Springtime Regatta, which was cancelled due to the coronavirus, the year 2020 Dad Vail Regatta Art Poster Contest will forever be remembered due to the unique challenges the students faced that took hold of the country last spring. Locked school buildings, lack of art supplies, inability to access partially completed art projects and the absence of instruction never deterred certain highly motivated high school artists to work remotely over the summer to complete their entries, inspired by extensions granted by the Dad Vail Regatta.  Judging of the contest and the announcement of the winners was delayed until the fall to permit extra time for the artists, due to the pandemic.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney agreed to a special delayed ceremony at the Schuylkill River National Racecourse Finish Line to recognize the winners and present their awards.  However, even that ceremony had to be canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions in Philadelphia County.

Jim Hanna, President of the Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee said, “The Dad Vail Regatta is far more than a regatta, persisting in offering students the opportunity to be recognized for their artistic ability and to be rewarded for their distinguished achievements by way of our 18th annual Art Poster Contest.” He extended a special expression of gratitude to Sister Lauretta Linsalata, IHM,  of Archbishop Ryan High School, and to Deb Klose of the Philadelphia Public School System for their support and assistance in overcoming the adversities of Covid-19 in staging this competition.”

The contest, which challenges Philadelphia area high school students to best depict the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, North Americas largest and best-known collegiate regatta, has five categories of prizes; Grand Prize, First Place, Second Place, Third Place and Honorable Mention.

Members of the Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee, The School District of Philadelphia and the Office of Catholic Education. Among the judges field this year was Kathy Halton, who has her master’s degree in Fine Arts.

The Winners of the 2020 Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta Art Poster Contest are:

Grand Prize
Abigail Woods First Place
Timothy Schulth Second Place
Meghan Montoya Third Place
Olivia Liebsch Honorable Mention
Bridget Coyle
Callista Gartland
Olivia Gribley
Anna Grindrod
Kyle LaBarr
Jimmy Xu


About Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University)

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 now 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. The new 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.


Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee Board Member Desron Dorsett Recognized by Philadelphia Business Journal

Ed Levin
Publicity Director
Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta

Philadelphia, PA – Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee (DVROC) Board Member Desron Dorsett was recently recognized by the Philadelphia Business Journal as one of their 2020 Minority Business Leaders.

Dorsett, Vice President of Business Development for the Philadelphia 76ers, was honored in a virtual ceremony hosted by the Philadelphia Business Journal in September for his entrepreneurial drive, creativity and success.

“I’m honored, but more so humbled to be recognized as a 2020 Philadelphia Business Journal Minority Business Leader,” said Dorsett. “As I strive to create a legacy for the people that follow me, the City of Philadelphia has offered tremendous opportunity for me to lead by making an impact within the community.”

Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee President Jim Hanna said, “On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee, I commend Desron Dorsett for the distinguished work he has performed culminating in being named a 2020 Minority Business Leader recognition which Desron, in his service to the Dad Vail Regatta,  has unequivocally earned and highly deserves.”

The 82nd annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta will be staged on Friday, May 7 and Saturday, May 8, 2021.

Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee Appoint Dr. Joe Murphy and Lou McCormick To Dad Vail Regatta Board

Ed Levin
Publicity Director
Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta

Philadelphia, PA – The Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee (DVROC) is pleased to announce the election of Dr. Joe Murphy and Lou McCormick III to the Dad Vail Regatta Board of Directors. Their elevation to the Board came at the annual Dad Vail Regatta Board of Directors Elections’ meeting earlier this summer.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Lou McCormick and Dr. Joseph Murphy to the Board of Directors of The Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee,” said Jim Hanna, President of the Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee. “Their talents and skills will complement the Board’s quest to craft solutions in the face of today’s challenges.”

“I am extremely humbled to be on the board,” Murphy said. “To continue the legacy and give something back is a great privilege.”

“It’s such an honor to be part of the board,” said McCormick III, whose family has been involved with regatta for more than 25 years. “I am looking forward to giving back to an organization that has done so much for myself and my family.”

Murphy attended Georgetown University and rowed in the Dad Vail all four years winning bronze his freshman year as a member of the Freshman Eight boat.

Prior to Georgetown, Murphy rowed at St. Joseph’s Prep with fellow board member Kevin Backe rowing the JV 4 and Varsity 4 junior and senior year, respectively. While at The Prep, Murphy was a Scholastic National Champion; a Stotesbury Regatta Champion and participated in the Henley Regatta.

McCormick III has a rich rowing history dating back to his time at LaSalle College High School and Temple University. At LaSalle, McCormick III stroked the freshman eight, stroked the JV 8 as a sophomore. In his junior and senior year McCormick was named captain and stroked the Varsity 8 boat.

At Temple, McCormick stroked the Freshman 8, JV 8 and rowed bow in the varsity eight winning a Dad Vail gold medal in each event. In total McCormick captured four Dad Vail Gold Medals.

McCormick III has volunteered in the Finish Line Tower for the past 26 years.





Gratitude II – Early Saturday Morning, May 9, 2020!

Year 2020, Jefferson Dad Vail contenders for the Gold! — would it be Colgate again, or Drexel, Temple, Purdue, St. Joe’s, or even crews returning from a several year hiatuses such as FIT and Georgetown? Would Saturday afternoon’s women’s final include Boston, Drexel, Georgetown, Bucknell and Temple?

Friday afternoon’s light rain had settled the Schuylkill River providing ideal racing conditions, however just imagine, at the Friday Night Recognition Reception, everyone’s rain gear being piled up on chairs and the warmth of  Winnie’s buffet line food providing welcome respite, as laughter and chatter from the camaraderie subsides, and the fifty-year Anniversary Crew from Saint Joe’s take the podium, followed by the 25th Anniversary Crew women from University of Michigan and the Temple men.  This year’s Matt Ledwith Award and Jack Seitz Award winners would have been announced by Kirsten Morasco as would ten-year volunteers to be clad for the first time in their coveted Dad Vail Gold Jackets.

When I woke at 4:30 this morning and and stepped outside to double check the 34-degree temperature and to note the clear skies, the Florida crews immediately came to mind as enjoying a tantalizing surprise, a snap change in weather!

It was but a wish, to once more to be arriving right now at the Strawberry Mansion Bridge detour, in the dark, lining up behind the enormous West Point transport bus with diesel engines purring, seeing the piercing, flashing red lights from one of Philadelphia’s finest parked sideways, but receiving assurances from Ed Holland, that there was a steady stream of Regatta traffic already arriving to stage and officiate during today’s racing.

A heartfelt thank you from the Board of Directors, for  all for your dedicated service and for all of the time you invested in preparation for the 2020 Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, and until we meet again, Godspeed.

Never row,

Jim Hanna
Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee


“Ready All.”  “Row!” would have been heard over thirty-five times by now, beginning at 7:00 AM, this morning, right on schedule, starting with pair racing at the 82nd Annual Dad Vail Regatta.  Dad Vail Coaches, on fifteen speed bikes, with stroke watches in hand, would be excitingly and nervously jockeying for position up at the starting line, on the bike path and some Gold Jacketed Officials would be huddled quietly around John Musial, Chief Referee, who would be inspecting starting line procedures, cigar in hand.

Dress apparel, conditioned by a weather forecast predicting rain all day would have called for a slicker and extra layers, and an extra set of dry socks, but the camaraderie of your colleague volunteers, and annual reunions of rowers past and reconnecting even with current Board members who traveled from the far reaches of the USA would have provided all of the social warmth one might expect!

Picture golf cart traffic ducking around slowing moving autos on Kelly Drive, maneuvering occasionally around a late arriving trailer fully loaded with sixty-foot eights. Imagine the cooler breeze preceding the rain and visualize the 120 feet of new Poralu dock undulating off the seawall at Rowers’ Village, getting an extra kick from a overly ambitious launch driver, and the beehive of activity as athletes juggle oars and sneakers while shedding sweats tossed to coaches, as each rower responds to the coxswains command and places “ one foot in.”

Today, I tip my hat to all of you, on behalf of our entire Board of Directors,  for your past service, which has given rise to my own treasured memories of past Dad Vail Regattas, and thought it altogether appropriate to reach out to you this morning, on a day which would otherwise be spent right beside, or out upon, our beloved Schuylkill River to say thank you for the memories.

Never Row,

Jim Hanna
Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee

Colgate University Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight makes history At Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta

Ed Levin
Publicity Director
Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta

Philadelphia, PA (May ,2020) – The small contingent of Colgate Crew fans grew louder as the Colgate Men’s Varsity Eight began their final 400 meters of the finals of the 81st Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta, presented by Independence Blue Cross and Coca Cola. In a moment, this crew made history by winning the program’s first gold medal in the premier event of the largest collegiate rowing regatta in North America.

With hometown favorite Drexel University, a recent perennial power in this event on their back bow, the Raiders used every ounce of energy they had to hold off the Dragons to claim victory.

“Winning the Men’s Varsity Heavyweight Eight Dad Vail Gold was one of my greatest rowing achievements and will always be one of my fondest memories,” said then senior Matt Oakley, who rode stroke in the championship boat. “ Starting as a first year at Colgate, we barely had enough guys to field a novice eight let alone race a varsity Eight. After we placed 3rd in 2018 I remember being on the dock, satisfied, but hungry for more. When presented with our medals, the commissioner asked us how many seniors were on the boat and where were we looking to finish next year. Our 7 seat, Alex Damjanovic, replied none and that we will be back on this dock next year with gold medals around our necks. Going into the 2019 Spring season, also Colgate’s 200th anniversary, we knew we were going to have to give it everything we had to win the Dad Vail Gold. Colgate has always had a small team culture and that close connection is what helped us all commit and rely on each other to work harder than we ever had to win the Dad Vail Gold.”

Head Coach Khaled Sanad added, “When we entered the Men’s 8+ in 2018 we had no idea how fast we were, but we knew we had a strong boat. It was at Murphy Cup earlier that spring where we raced the 8+ that we realized it. With the rate capped at 34 strokes per minute we edged out the Finals. That led us to decide on entering the 8+ at Dad Vail where we came in 3rd place in another photo-finish with a boat that featured two juniors, four sophomores, two freshmen, and a First-year coxswain. We came back in the Fall intent on winning Dad Vail. Every workout and meter rowed, every sacrifice the rowers made, was to that end.”

With the truck carrying the boats on their way to Tampa for spring break preparation to hit the water for the first time this spring was about to commence. With the 82nd annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta a mere three months away at the time, Sanad was informed the season would be over before it had a chance to get started due to due to the pandemic we know as CoVid19 – that forced the cancellation of all sports meaning that this Colgate Crew must wait until May, 2021 to defend their Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta Title.

“It was tough,” said Sanad. “We look forward all winter to finally being on the water, keeping in mind that in 2018 we were only on the water 3 days before Dad Vail and in 2019 we were lucky and were on in time for Knecht Cup. Getting on the water again keeps us going when it freezing and there is snow, knowing that our big payout will come at Dad Vail. Just a few days before leaving for Spring Break training 2020 we were told our season was over. .It is tough to say goodbye for who knows how long well before you were supposed to. These guys had planned to spend the next three months racing and cashing in on their winter training together. Now it was time to go home. I know it was especially rough on the seniors, but the seniors were confident in the work that the underclassmen had done. They were looking forward to passing on their experience to them at their last spring break. The seniors, through their experience, thought we had the potential to do very well at Dad Vail again this year, seeing some of the same qualities in our team we had in 2018. Not racing at Dad Vail this year will be hard, but we can look forward to 2021.”

Senior captain Luke Smith added, “As captain, I took a lot of pride in our team and the development of the younger guys. I have a lot of confidence in our would-have-been boat this year. Win or not, it would have been so great to race Dad Vails again for one last time. It still doesn’t feel 100% real that my college career has ended. At the end of the day, I’m happy to have had the opportunity to leave my mark last year.”

Second No More

Written by members of SJU crew (edited by Ed Levin)

This headline, “SECOND NO MORE” from the May 10 Philadelphia Inquirer’s recap of the 1970 Dad Vail Varsity Heavyweight Eight Final, perfectly describes the Saint Joseph’s College crew’s 1970 racing season and the need to avenge Saint Joseph’s only loss in 1969 – a 2nd place finish to a great Georgetown crew in the final of the Dad Vails.

To say revenge was on the minds of the Hawks crew heading into the 1970 Dad Vail Regatta was an understatement. Not only were they looking to gain a measure of revenge from the 1969 Dad Vail finals, Saint Joseph’s was also looking to avenge their two losses to Georgetown in the 1970 campaign with both being by less than a length after holding early leads.

As we headed into Dad Vail weekend, Coach Joe Toland presented us with a bit of an unconventional racing plan for the weekend. We were told to race the opening heat as hard as we could to the 1000m mark, separate from the pack, and cruise in. It worked to perfection. The next morning’s semi-final plan was similar but slightly different. After sprinting to the bridge, the plan was to stay in contention and qualify, but conserve energy for the afternoon’s final. We finished a controlled second, following the plan to get an outside lane away from Georgetown in the Final. We felt really positive about our two races and left for lunch eager to put everything on the line in the afternoon’s Championship race.

When we got back to Vesper Boat Club locker room, two hours before the final, there was absolute quiet but a relaxed focus among us. Coach gave us the race plan. It was simple but the right one – “Race to the bridge, answer any challenges, sprint at the Island”.  We launched with a level of total commitment. On our row up to the starting line, it felt like we had the best pre-race warm up and practice starts of the season. The boat had quickness yet relaxation in all the pieces. This was a seasoned, race hardened crew with seven of the nine rowers returning from last year’s Dad Vail boat.

As we lined up for the final, there was a palpable tension in every seat. We didn’t want to let down any one of our teammates, and we especially didn’t want to let down Coach Toland, whose crews had finished second, three times in the past. We knew Joe was there with us and we knew he was watching us from the west bank as he always did at the start

We had changed our start from three short quick strokes to three full, upright strokes. This helped us to fly off the line at 40 reps per minute and take a 2-seat lead. Georgetown, U. Mass, and Trinity were right with us for the first 300 meters. By 500 meters, we had found our rhythm and lengthened the lead to almost a length. We came past the Canoe club with a full-length lead over Georgetown and the two crews were moving away from the field. With 700 meters left, we had open water, and someone shouted, “we’re going to win the Vails.” The boat responded with a great push that propelled us to the top of the Island where we were scheduled to start our sprint. But to a man, we didn’t want to change our flow and risk any sloppy strokes. We lengthened to a powerful 34 reps per minute, held off Georgetown’s sprint to win the first Dad Vail Gold Medal in the Varsity Heavyweight Eight by four seconds.

The celebration was on. Our coxswain, one of the three seniors in the crew who had previously finished third, then second, tried to climb over the crew. Our stroke man, a freshman, racing for the first time in the V8 admitted later he was terrified before the race, calmly rescued him from falling in. We knew we had fulfilled our mission to win the Vails for Coach Toland. We shouted to him as he stood on the west bank finish line having followed the race down the drive.

For Joe and for each of us, the curse was broken. We were “Second No More”.

A great race and a Great Victory that has bound us together forever.


1995 Dad Vail Champion Temple Owls – 25th Anniversary

Lauren Ferrett

Director of Strategic Communications


The headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sports section on Sunday, May 14, 1995 exclaimed “Michigan makes a triumphant return to Dad Vail Regatta.” But although the headline belonged to the Wolverines, the weekend belonged, like it had 12 of the previous 13 years before, to the Temple Owls.

The 1995 varsity eight boat had the misfortune of trying to follow in the footsteps of what some have called one of the fastest crews in Temple history. The 1994 boat had cruised to a sixth-straight Dad Vail title and then with short rest, captured the Champion International Regatta title.

Despite losing three key seniors from the 1994 boat, the 1995 crew was up to the challenge.

“This crew, on any given day, is faster than last year’s crew,” Temple head coach Gavin White said to the Inquirer at the time. “But they’re inconsistent, I call them my Forrest Gump crew. They’re like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

Made up of Matt Garbutt, Dinko Vucemilovic, Steven Panzik, Kevin Gross, Jason Sneek, Shawn Reid, Daniel McGuinn, Jake Hampson, and coxswain, Jamie Beyer, the Owls shook off some early inconsistencies and lived up to potential.

Beyer, who passed away in February of 2018, was a central character in the story, commanding the attention of the boat. As McGuinn recalled to OwlsTV, “he was a character, even though he was small and skinny, he was the biggest personality in the boat, and that’s what you want from a coxswain. We’re sitting there and struggling, sucking wind, and you need that guy to keep you focused.”

The crew showed an early glimpse of what it was capable of, coming in third at the San Diego Crew Classic, behind Washington and Harvard, just two seconds off the pace of the Crimson. In addition to coming away with a bronze, the Owls turned heads with a strong showing, finishing ahead of many of the other top Ivy League programs.

However, a mid-season slump, including a pair of losses to Georgetown, had the team struggling to find that early confidence.

Enter 1964 double gold medal winning Olympic Coach, Allen Rosenberg, a Temple alum, who coach White brought in to work with the crew.

“Al was able to drive this boat and this people to become better than they were,” remembered McGuinn. “He was like a Yoda, like the Zen Master, and he gave Gavin the force. That boat would just rise out of the water like it had the force, it was amazing. It takes a lot of confidence in yourself as a coach to bring an outside guy in.”

Although the 1994 Owls had the “force” with them that Dad Vail weekend, it wasn’t a given. Despite Temple having come in as the six-time defending heavyweight eight champions, the team didn’t take a win for granted.

“Nobody really thought that we’d just row down the course and it was us,” said McGuinn. “Championships are not won, you have to go take them. You put the work in from the summer all the way up to that one Saturday in May.”

And Temple did just that. They went and took it.

The Owls jumped out to an ultra-fast start, rowing at a 39 ½ stroke rate off the line. They had a two-length advantage under the bridge and by Peter’s Island, had such a significant lead, they dropped their cadence to preserve energy.

If the end of the race seemed almost anticlimactic, it was only because once the opening gun went off, there was never a doubt that the 1994 Owls would come away with the trophy.

Temple dominated from start to finish, and they felt it right from the outset of the race.

“Gavin had us ready and chomping at the bit to get down the course,” said McGinn. “We were rocking and rolling, that was the fastest we had ever been. You could feel that even in the couple warm up strokes. We could have stopped for a couple strokes and still won; we were riding high.”

Whether it was the force, or just the hard work that carried the Owls over the line that day, the outcome was the same, Temple takes the title. Again.


Boston University Women continue to create memories At Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta

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.”