Day One – June 19, 2018
Posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 at 3:46 pm

Checkin in at Airport

Justin Ebert
Coach: Costas Ciungan ’15

Hometown: Detroit, MI

Major: Masters in Public Administration

Hometown: Detroit, MI
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am Greek and Romanian – first and last name respectively.

Today a team of 25 athletes and 4 administrators, including myself, have departed on the Greece-Henley Royal Regatta trip. The trip took months of planning and preparation starting back in September. From administrative planning and organizing by head coach John Bancheri with assistants to athlete training and preparation, this team has done the work it takes and is excited for the trip ahead. We departed by bus to Chicago O’Hare at or near 10 am and are currently about to catch our flight to England, then we will be making a stop in Istanbul, Turkey before heading to Kastoria, Greece via Thessaloniki. The team will train in Greece for a week thanks to the organization and planning of Coach Bancheri, whose former athlete from Marietta College and international rower, Even Tsourtsoulas, connected us with the Nautical Club of Kastoria. We will train in Kastoria before heading back to England to compete at the Henley Royal Regatta and Reading Town Regatta.

As a coach, I look forward to seeing our athletes train international and compete, especially at the historic Henley Royal Regatta. I also look forward to learning from the best in the world by interacting with coaches and by watching great rowing. Rowing has been happening on the Thames river for over 100 years starting in the 19th century with the beginnings of the Henley Royal Regatta in 1839. An entire history of rowing can be found in Henley at the River and Rowing museum and it is a privilege for our athletes and coaches to have the Henley experience and to compete on such a high stage. On top of that, the training in Greece at the Nautical Club of Kastoria will make this an experience that our student-athletes will remember for a lifetime, especially with all the work and discipline it took to get the opportunity to represent Grand Valley State University abroad.

Throughout the next three weeks our athletes will share their experiences with you via blogs to document the trip for themselves and their families and friends, but also to share with alumni, friends, and future classes of Grand Valley rowers. As a coach I love reading the blogs and seeing what our athletes are experiencing in training as well as socially and culturally. I invite you to read the blogs daily, view photos, and check out the great opportunities and experiences are student-athletes will have as a member of the Laker Navy at Grand Valley State University. Although very important, It is not just about the training and racing, but about the cultural experience and learning that our athletes obtain by traveling abroad and in particularly by watching the best rowing in the world at the Henley Royal Regatta. As legendary coach Steve Fairbairn once stated: “a crew will learn to row by racing, but cannot learn to race by rowing.” Racing is an important element to becoming and effectively rower but so too is watching great rowing and learning from the best.

Proud coach and alumni. Thanks to everyone that supported our athletes in making this trip. As always, Keep pulling for the Laker Navy – anchor up.

The Grand Valley State University Rowing Club challenges its student-athletes to reach the highest level to which they aspire both academically and athletically, while continuing to build and sustain a nationally competitive intercollegiate rowing program.

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