Campus News

Bowdoin Crew To Compete in Henley Regatta

Story posted June 16, 2000

The Bowdoin crew is leaving for England Monday, June 19, to compete in the Henley Royal Regatta, probably the world’s most prestigious rowing competition.

The men’s four took first place at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia last month. "They were impressed enough with our performance to award a Henley trip to the Bowdoin four," coach Gil Birney said.

The four Bowdoin rowers competing for the Britainnia Challenge Cup are Dave Thomas, Will Coldin, Will LoVerme and Gordon Clark. The coxswain is Mary Miner. Also traveling to England are two alternates, Tyler Lang and Pat Welsh. The Dad Vail Regatta is paying for the Bowdoin crew’s transportation to England.

The Bowdoin men came in first at the New England 4’s championship and the New England championship. They went on to beat Georgia Tech and the University of Michigan at the Dad Vail.

Birney says, "To get to the Henley regatta is just a huge accomplishment." Especially for a team from a small college, with a small budget and a low profile, "carrying on in benign obscurity," as Birney says.

The Bowdoin team starts out with a small tune-up regatta in Reading on June 24.

The Henley regatta begins on June 28. The team will row in a qualifying race, which will winnow down an initial 62 teams into the 32 spots in the regatta. The competition is a simple elimination format. "If you win, you advance. If you lose, you go to the pub," says the coach.

The competition lasts five days and ends with the two top crews racing for the championship.

Sponsored by Britain’s royal family, the regatta was founded in 1839, making it only a little older than Bowdoin’s rowing tradition. Bowdoin’s first crew was formed in 1858.

Visit the website of the the Henley Royal Regatta at

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