Dallas United Crew’s (DUC) fall rowing season began on October 5, at the Head of the Oklahoma Regatta, racing against crews from Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Florida, Nebraska, California and Utah in a 4,000-meter course along the Oklahoma River. In the fall, rowers welcome cooler fall temperatures as they race down the long course against the clock in what’s known as “head races” with staggered starts and the fastest time winning.
DUC continued its historically strong showing at this event striking gold not once, but four times, in addition to bringing home three silver and one bronze medal, with a total of sixty-four medals coming back to North Texas.
DUC’s powerhouse Men’s Varsity 8+ crew took gold in the 4,000-meter race beating national and regional rivals from Sarasota and Oklahoma City, respectively, with a convincing thirteen-second open-water lead over the next fastest boat. Incredibly, the Women’s Varsity 4+ also took gold with the same thirteen-second open water win. “What’s extraordinary about these varsity squads’ dominance is that they are new lineups for us,” explained Steve Perry, DUC’s Program Director and Men’s Head Coach. “With a large graduating class last year, it opened up seats in our varsity boats for our younger up-and-coming rowers,” continued Perry. “This demonstrates tremendous teamwork, hard work and dedication to pull off wins like this.”
DUC’s Men’s 4+ and Women’s 8+ both placed second in their respectively in their 4,000-meter races with the Men’s 4+ just four seconds off first-place. DUC dominated the nineteen-boat race with four of its six crews finishing in the top ten.
DUC’s Novice Rowers met this race with anticipation, as it was their first time to put their training to the test. The Novice Men’s 8+ competed in a hard-fought race with a very strong second place finish, and DUC’s Novice Women’s 8+ finished their event in third. For DUC’s Mixed Novice 8+, with four girls and four boys racing in the same boat, they narrowly missed third place finish by just 1.5 seconds ending up in fourth place. “It is always an exciting time for these Novice athletes to compete in their first race,” stated Steve Perry, DUC’s Program Director. “The thrill and accomplishment of this first race is something they will remember for a lifetime.”
Saturday evening’s events culminated in the exciting 500-meter OG&E Night Sprints, an event that captivates the crowds with deafening cheers as the crews fly down the course in less than 90 seconds. Foreshadowing the evening’s fireworks, DUC blasted to first in the Night Sprints with two crews crossing the finish in blazing fast times against a crowded field. The DUC Varsity Women 8+ completed the 500-meter race in just eighty six seconds and the Varsity Men’s 8+ in just seventy six seconds.
Next on the fall regatta schedule for DUC is the Head of the Colorado in Austin, Texas.
With a great start to the year, DUC is looking ahead to sprints in the Spring season and continuing to recruit. Save the date for DUC’s Spring “Try-Us-Out” on November 16th. DUC offers rowing and dragon boating for athletes of all ages and abilities. Visit DallasUnitedCrew.org to learn more.