Crew Club Competes At Stetson Rowing Rendezvous

Gary Rose / ERAU Crew Club

The Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Crew Club matched up with Division I and II rivals from around the state on Saturday at Lake Beresford in DeLand.  Over 1000 total participants from 29 rowing teams competed at the annual Stetson Fall Rowing Rendezvous. Conditions were perfect on the water with low winds all day. Forty ERAU men and women competed in four and eight – oared shells in both varsity and novice events.

Like most fall races, boats in the same event started one at a time, single file, chasing each other. The start was 3.2 miles away from the dock in the St John’s River. After about two miles of river racing, the crews entered Lake Beresford and continued another mile to the finish.

Joining the Eagles on the trip was Halifax Rowing Association. Halifax raced juniors and masters events. ERAU Club President Charles Blondeau and Varsity Coxswain Nathan Ellis sat in with the Halifax Men’s Master’s
Four and took gold.

“It was a great experience to row competitively with the Masters,” says Charles Blondeau, President of the ERAU Crew Club, “I was definitely happy with the gold we brought home, and I look forward to rowing with them again in the future!”
The ERAU Women’s Team stood tall among the highly recruited competitors from future Division II rivals Rollins, FIT, Barry, and D-II Champs Nova Southeastern. The Varsity 4 was only seconds behind host Stetson, a Division I rival. Our novice women have been improving very much in recent weeks, and it showed as we finished ahead of boats from Rollins and the University of Florida.

One of our new coxswains, Teresa Tackett, was very excited about her first regatta and has high hopes for the future of the team. “I’d like to see the women put on more power because I know they can do it, but both of the boats I coxed did really well! I’m really looking forward to racing more fours in the spring!”

Leading the Men’s Team is the Varsity 8, a Lightweight 8 competing in the heavyweight category. Division I Jacksonville University took the top two spots in this event as Riddle held off a boat from the University of Florida. The Novice Squad raced well in the 8 and the 4, both boats placing fifth.  The four enjoyed an excellent row finishing a minute ahead of rival Stetson.

Rodrigo Firmo, a new Varsity member this season, had the following to say about the race. “The team made a great performance; I felt like everyone was in sync, and I was pleased with how the race turned out. I was proud to see the commitment and focus of the Varsity 8 rowers before the race. I can’t wait to see how much we improve next semester!”

And now let’s hear about another rower!

The legend says that this week’s featured rower is a descendant from Hercules himself, bearing godlike power and agility, unmatched by any known mortal. While most of you are still asleep, this smaller, and not so green, version of Hulk, is already doing backflips to warm up for practice. It is also known that his wild stunts and crazy push-ups make Bruce Lee feel uncomfortable in his grave.

His name is Bob Nguyen (pronounced \nü-gān\). Coming from the Los Angeles area, he has been on the team for the last three years. He is a senior pursuing a degree in Aerospace Engineering and has held the responsibilities of Vice-President for the last two years. When he is not rowing or in class, he can be found in the Writing Center helping you get an A on that paper due tomorrow morning.

This legend just got to the top of the 6000m leaderboard, and we are certainly glad to have him on the team, not only as a leader but also as a rock solid friend. However, we must advise you to hide your food in case you come in contact with Mr. Nguyen. He is known for eating an entire 4500 calories worth of peanut butter after a race. To compensate, this disorderly eater has proven that he can lose ten pounds in less than 24 hours in order to shave off his extra pounds of awesome and meet the lightweight cut-off. This was definitely a feat for the books and a proof of his dedication towards the team. We surely hope our legend will stick around for his master’s degree and show the next generation what being a
badonkey is all about.