This week’s outstanding performance by the Drexel University crew team shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as the Dragons keep rowing their way to win after win.
This weekend, their success came at the Navy Day Regatta, which was held on their own home turf, the Schuylkill River. In each of the four races the team competed in, they pulled off finishes in the top five spots.
The Navy Day Regatta was hosted by the Hawks of neighboring Philadelphia school Saint Joseph’s University. Drexel sent eight boats to compete in the four categories—A and B boats for both the men’s and women’s varsity eight races, and A and B boats for both the men’s and women’s second varsity eight races.
The competition for the weekend included teams from a slew of the best rowing programs around. Some of the teams racing included Syracuse University, the Naval Academy, University of Pennsylvania, Temple University and others. The regatta also hosted races for high school level rowing programs and various other rowing clubs.
Historically, the Navy Day Regatta has been held on the Schuylkill River since 1986, when Captain John Mulhern and Richard Stewart, two Navy member put the race together to help raise awareness for both the Navy and Marine Corps.
The first race of the day for Drexel was the men’s second varsity eight, which hosted 13 competing boats. In the race, both Drexel boats, the A and B, took places in the top five spots. The A boat came in third with a time of 12:54.68, and the B boat came in right behind them for fourth place at 13:04.06.
In the women’s second varsity eight race, at A boat was just as successful, also taking a third place finish at 14:41.75, narrowly edging out fourth place finisher George Washington University by less than a second. Drexel’s B boat came in seventh place
Later in the day, the varsity eight boats hit the water. First, the men took the water. The men’s varsity eight A took second place out of a 25 boat span, finishing only three seconds behind Navy at a time of 12:14.06. Given the competitive programs in the race, while Drexel’s B boat finished just 50 seconds behind their teammates in the A boat, they came in for a finish of 12th place.
Finally, in Drexel’s last stint of competition, the women’s varsity eight A and B boats took on the Schuylkill to see how they would fare. Out of the 20 boats on the water, Drexel A took fourth, coming in behind University City Rival, Penn, Navy and the University of Delaware. The A boat’s time was 14:14:39, and the B boat came in at 15:47.41, which earned them 15th place.
While the Navy Day is a more recent tradition, the Dragons next race marks an even bigger historical race. Next weekend, Oct. 17-18, Drexel will head to Boston to partake in the Head of the Charles Regatta, which is celebrating its 51st anniversary this year. The Dragons will hope to repeat, if not improve, on their status from last year, in which the men’s varsity eight took a top ten finish.