By: Blake Donovan
Grand Valley’s 2006 fall season came to an end Saturday, November 11th with the Grand Frostbite Regatta. Participating schools included Grand Valley’s men’s and women’s crews, Michigan State’s women’s and men’s Club crews, and Calvin College. The Grand Frostbite Regatta was aptly named with the air temperature hovering around 38 degrees and a strong north wind creating moderate chop. All together, the worst conditions we have seen on this part of the Grand River the entire fall. This made for some tough sprint racing consisting of two 1,350 meter races upstream against one of the fastest currents we have seen this season and a single 500 meter sprint downstream.
Races started at 1pm with the Women’s Eight and ended at 4pm with the Men’s 500meter sprint. Crews stayed on the water enduring the some of the worst elements Mother Nature could muster for upwards of 2 hours. Certainly, the crews would have voiced their complaints if it weren’t for the extreme numbness in their bodies keeping them oblivious to the harsh weather they were enduring.
Over all, Grand Valley raced very well. Both the Varsity Men and Women’s boats finished first in their races with the Varsity 2 boats coming in second and third. Grand Valley’s Men V2 upset the varsity, beating them in the 500 meter sprint. This upset shows the depth of our team entering the winter training season.
Looking back on the entire fall season, we can only expect to see great successes come spring racing. This was undoubtedly one of the most successful fall seasons in the team’s history. Athletes have been pushing each other all year, and it shows in the race results. People took notice when Grand Valley won the team points trophy at Head of the Rock, beating out many division one rowing programs. Heads were turned in Tennessee with a Men’s V8 silver and V4 gold, and the varsity women defeating over half the competition, many of them Division one scholarship programs.