A Homecoming For Beaver Rowers On Oct. 23

Oct. 15, 2004

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23Oregon State Head of the Willamette Regatta;OSU Crew Docks; 9 a.m.

Oregon State's crew teams will row their first races in Corvallis in nearly a decade on Oct. 23 when the Beavers host the first annual Head of the Willamette Regatta on the Willamette River at 9 a.m. The races - OSU's first at its home boathouse since 1995 - are part of Homecoming Weekend and mark the start of the Beavers' fall racing schedule.

'We've wanted to have a race in Corvallis because it's great for our athletes and our fans to see us row here in town,' OSU women's head coach Charlie Owen said. 'We think this format of racing is the fairest we can do here on the river because of the curve (in the river); everyone goes single-file, so it's up to coxswains to steer a good course and save their teams some time. And the river here provides a real good natural racecourse for this type of race, which will be fun.'

Spectators will be able to see approximately 40 crews cross the finish line at the boat launch behind Michael's Landing restaurant and the Holiday Inn Express at the north end of downtown Corvallis. Spectators can get the best view of the racing at the finish line or just north of the finish along U.S. Highway 20 toward the Hewlett-Packard complex.

The four-person crews will approach the finish line at around 9:10 a.m., while the eights will come through at around 10:10 a.m.

Portland, Willamette and Oregon will send collegiate crews and they'll be joined by adult and high school rowing clubs from Corvallis, Portland and Eugene. Also racing will be two crews of Oregon State rowing alumni.

Boats racing against the clock and each other will try to post the fastest times along the four-kilometer course, which winds upstream from just north of Trysting Tree Golf Club along Highway 20 past downtown Corvallis. The four-person crews will take about 20 minutes from start to finish, with the eight-person crews taking about 16 minutes.

After the season opener in Corvallis, the Beavers race at the Portland LOOP Regatta on Oct. .30 and at the Head of the Lake Regatta in Seattle on Nov. 14. In rowing, fall races are traditionally around three miles long, while the primary spring racing season consists of 2,000-meter (1.25-mile) sprints.

Last spring, Oregon State's women finished seventh at the Pacific-10 Championships, winning bronze medals in both the Varsity Four and Novice Eight. OSU alum Charlie Owen has been the head coach of the Beavers since 1993.

OSU's men finished third at the Pac-10s and ninth at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championship regatta. The Beavers are led by new head coach and former Olympian Fred Honebein, who comes to OSU after six successful seasons as Washington's freshman coach.

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