On March 26th and 27th, HP Crew, rowing with Dallas United Crew, traveled to sunny San Diego, California to race top West Coast crews. After a two-year hiatus, the San Diego Crew Classic returned to Mission Bay as ninety-nine juniors, collegiate and masters clubs raced at this, the traditional start of USRowing’s sprint season. From floating starting docks near Sea World, crews sprinted 2,000 meters north, to Crown Point Park where crowds cheered from sandy beaches strewn with festival tents and palm trees.
DUC showed the strength and depth of its program with more than sixty-three athletes competing and top ten finishes in three powerhouse events, including the Women’s Varsity Eight, the Men’s Under 17 Eight, and the Men’s Junior Varsity Eight.
Seniors Ellie Rodriguez and Aby Fowler, recruited to the University of Texas and Southern Methodist University, respectively, led DUC’s Varsity Women. In Heat 1 of the Gilman-Mulliken Cup, DUC’s crew edged out regional rival Texas Rowing Center to take fourth place, just three tenths of a second off Long Beach Junior Crew in third. In the second Final, the DUC women poured on the power to take third, with an overall ranking of ninth.
Competing for the Shimano Rowing Dynamics Cup, DUC’s U17 Men took first in the second final with a blistering ten-second lead over their closest competitor, finishing seventh overall.
In the heats for the Men’s Junior Varsity (JV) event, the Jean Jessop Hervey Cup, DUC’s crew walked from behind to challenge Sammamish Rowing for third within 250 meters of the finish. Then, a misplaced blade in choppy water decimated the rhythm of the crew, landing DUC in fifth place. Showing their resilience and cohesion, the DUC JV men raced a razor-straight line through crosswinds and tidal flows to take third place in the second final and tenth overall.
DUC’s Varsity Men, racing in the San Diego Rowing Cup event, took fourth in their heat to earn a place in the second final. While Orlando Area Rowing Society (OARS) emerged as the clear leader, the competition was neck and neck among the other crews. Ultimately, DUC’s men missed placing in the top four in the heat, and top ten overall, by 1 second as they were edged out by Capital Crew.
"I was very proud of the teamwork and genuine camaraderie our crews are showing. Each boat fought very hard in their racing and demonstrated some very impressive poise," reflects Girls Head Coach, Amanda Perry.
With over one hundred athletes from more than 40 secondary schools, Dallas United Crew is the vanguard of competitive youth rowing in Dallas. DUC serves youth rowers ages 11 to 18. DUC invites those who would like to try rowing to DUC’s Summer Camps, which are open for registration. In these four-day camps, teens will have a chance to get hands-on with a boat, learn about equipment, the basics of the stroke, and why “there is nothing like the start of an eight.” Learn more at DallasUnitedCrew.org.