Stanford Crews Gear Up For The Big Row Against California This Saturday

April 29, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - The crews of Stanford and California will go head to head and stroke for stroke this Saturday, May 2, in The Big Row at Redwood Shores, Stanford's home course. The racing is set to get underway Saturday morning as the mens' and womens' varsity eights lead off the competition at 10 and 10:10 a.m., respectively.

Last year, the Stanford men's varsity eight ended California's 18-year winning streak to claim the Schwabacher Cup. The Stanford Women's Varsity Eight will race for the Lambert Cup, last held by Stanford in 2002.

The first Big Row took place in 1903 on San Francisco Bay.

So far in 2009 the No. 3 Stanford men's varsity eight defeated No. 4 California in a heat at the San Diego Crew Classic but the Golden Bears would return the favor by winning the event the following day by 4.6 seconds. Stanford then raced No. 1 Wisconsin to a photo finish and defeated #3 Washington by 4.5 seconds at the Stanford Invitational.

The No. 3 Stanford lightweight varsity eight opened the season with a victory over California and losses to Princeton and Wisconsin at the Pac-10 Challenge, but since then have rebounded to defeat the Cal lightweights at the San Diego Crew Classic to retain their hold on the A.W. Coggeshall Cup. The lightweights then traveled to Boston where they swept Harvard and MIT in both the varsity eight and varsity four.

The Stanford women began the season at Redwood Shores with wins as the fourth-ranked varsity eight defeated Clemson, Ohio State, and Virginia at the Pac-10 Challenge.

The second varsity eight defeated Clemson and the women's four beat Ohio State and Virginia. At the Lake Natoma Invitational, Stanford finished second overall as a team behind California and ahead of Wisconsin. The second varsity eight won the Grand Final over California and Wisconsin and the varsity four finished second behind California. Wisconsin was third.

'The Big Row is a commitment between the Stanford and Cal rowing teams to envelop our large communities,' noted Stanford Director of Rowing and men's head coach Craig Amerkhanian. 'This year we are dedicating the races to breast cancer awareness. This epidemic affects all communities, Cardinal and White, Blue and Gold, and it's time to wear pink to respect those who are in this fight.'

Racing Schedule (all times a.m.):

10:00 - Men's 1st Varsity 8+
10:10 - Women's 1st Varsity 8+
10:30 - Stanford Lightweight Varsity 8+ vs. California Women's 3V
10:40 - Men's 2nd Varsity 8+
10:50 - Women's 2nd Varsity 8+
11:00 - Women's Varsity 4-
11:15 - Men's Freshman 8+
11:30 - Women's Novice 8+

Dan Gordon of Gordon Biersch--and a Redwood Shores resident--has committed bratwurst, garlic fries and beverages for a post-Big Row Barbecue from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. All alumni are invited. The cost is $10 for lunch.

Local band Stealing Third will also be rocking the Shores from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. as part of the festivities.

Directions to Redwood Shores:
From Highway 101 take the Ralston Avenue Exit (head east)
At the first light turn right on to Twin Dolphin Drive.
At the first light turn left on to Lagoon and enter the parking lot.

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