Crew Club Determined to Overcome Setbacks

Monday, April 22, 2013

Contact: Clara Lefton, Communications Director

Charleston Crew is Determined Despite Setbacks
Philadelphia, Pa., April 22, 2013 – The Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta is the “highlight” of the College of Charleston Crew’s (CCOC) season every year according to their Head Coach Travis Landrith.  He estimates the trek to Philadelphia will take the team approximately 607 miles and include stops at homes of two of the team’s rowers in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, PA. Rather than stay at hotels, all of the program’s fundraising efforts always go towards equipment, most recently, the purchase of a Resolute racing shell.

Since the organization is run on a budget of only $4,000 from the school each year, CCOC has to overcome many challenges to be competitive at the Dad Vail level. For example, it has to keep its rowing shells on a trailer rather than in a boathouse. In the past, the team has kept its trailer in an area near a group of condominiums called the Bristol Marina.

Last year the homeowners association got together and decided they didn’t like the aesthetic appeal of the trailer and forced it to move elsewhere. For a while the trailer was located outside of a minor league baseball team’s stadium, requiring the crews to carry boats a quarter of a mile until they reached Ashley River in Charleston, SC. After some concerns about fire safety due to fireworks shot off outside the ballpark, the trailer has finally been moved a bit closer to the river.

“So they moved us again but luckily this most recent move has helped us become a little bit closer back under some trees in the park. But still it’s kind of out there,” explained Coach Landrith.

Because Ashley River is a black water tidal river with oyster beds and busy tides, just getting in and out of the water can be a challenge. In order to keep shells in tip-top shape, each time they are lifted out of the water they must be completely flushed out with non-salt water and then rinsed down with vinegar. Landrith says that the process is absolutely necessary or else the metal will begin to corrode, and is especially necessary for a program that has some rowing shells that are fifteen years old.

Despite these challenges, Landrith hopes to have his crew enter the following events at the 2013 Dad Vail: men’s pair, a men’s lightweight four, a women’s lightweight four, a men’s freshmen novice four, and a women’s freshmen novice eight.

“Next year will probably be a lot better because I think we’ve finally got a permanent spot for a trailer in that public park,” said Coach Landrith. “I think we’ve pretty much got a place to call home for a little while and will lead to some stability in the program, things are just a little crazy right now.”

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