The Grand Valley Rowing Team had their first home regatta of the season as they hosted the annual Lubbers Cup at Riverside Park in Grand Rapids. The rain and snow held off and it was a beautiful day for great racing.
On the women’s side, the Laker Navy won every grand final in which they were entered. In Grand Valley’s first final of the day, the women’s novice 8+ flew past the competition to bring home the gold. Their time of 7:03.6 put them forty seconds ahead of Rochester, the next fastest crew.
Later in the day, the women’s varsity 8+ also dominated their race. Their time of 6:48.6 put them an impressive 26 seconds ahead of another quick Rochester crew to take first place. Michigan State finished 3rd in the event.
The women’s second varsity 8+ continued the trend, also taking first place in their event. Their time of 7:11.9 put them ahead of Rochester’s second eight and Grand Valley’s third, and was also the second fastest time of all women’s varsity eights.
Grand Valley had five boats entered in the women’s varsity 4+ event. After four of these crews made the grand final, the Lakers swept the event, finishing 1-2-3. The novice women’s fours followed suit with their two fours in the event finishing 1-2 in the final. Both crews finished a minute ahead of third place Wheaton.
The men’s side also showed a lot of early season speed against some tough competition. Although the men’s varsity 8+ didn’t take home the gold, they are already starting to close last year’s gap between them and rival Michigan. The Lakers finished in second place, their time of 5:55.7 putting them eight seconds behind the Wolverines.
In a close race, Notre Dame just edged out the men’s second varsity eight to take the first place slot. Grand Valley, coming in less than 2 seconds after the Fighting Irish, finished with a time of 6:47.1. However, the Lakers were able to hold off the University of Rochester and three Michigan crews.
The novice men’s 8+ put up a fight, but couldn’t overcome the speed of their competition and finished in fourth place overall. Notre Dame won the event, followed by Michigan and Notre Dame’s second eight.
In the men’s fours, both the varsity and novices took second place. In a tight race, the varsity men came in just behind the University of Rochester, finishing in a time of 6:37.5. Rochester finished in 6:35.6. In the novice four, it was Michigan who triumphed.
When the point’s trophies were awarded at the end of the day, the University of Michigan took home the men’s trophy, while Grand Valley won the women’s and overall team point trophies.
Following the regatta was Grand Valley Rowing’s annual banquet in Grand Haven. The team welcomed back alumnus and former novice coach John Palk as the guest speaker of the evening. Fourteen seniors were also recognized as they are finishing their last season rowing for the Lakers.
Grand Valley will be spending next weekend racing in Ohio. On Saturday will be the Marietta Invitational Regatta, and then they will travel to Columbus to race Ohio State and Cincinnati.