Rowers prevail

The 2014 Lubbers Cup was threatened by ice earlier in the week, and then rain and an ominous-looking radar during the event, but in the end, it was one of the best competitions ever, according to Grand Valley State University Head Rowing Coach John Bancheri.
Marie Havenga
Apr 14, 2014

“This was the best Lubbers by far,” Bancheri said. “The format was great with everybody racing everybody.”

Despite one and a half hours of rain delays, the race schedule remained intact.

“We moved the christening (of a new rowing shell) on Saturday) inside the hospitality tent because it was raining,” Bancheri said. “All of a sudden, we started christening and the wind died down. Ten miles north of us they had some horrible weather. Call it luck. Call it dumb luck. I like to think a higher power helped us.”

As rowers scooted across Spring Lake Saturday and skies grew dark, organizers watched the weather radar on computer screens inside the Spring Lake Yacht Club.

GVSU broadcasting professor Len O'Kelley said the afternoon forecast looked ominous, with threats of 50 to 60 mile per hour winds.

“That's enough to flip a boat over,” O'Kelley said. “We were really hoping it was going to hold off.”

With the threat of high winds, rowers returned their shells to their trailers and strapped them down. Organizers battened down supplies and spectators grabbed umbrellas.

In the end, the major winds skirted north of Spring Lake and races were able to resume after a brief rainfall, even though seas were rougher than during the morning races.

GVSU women's and U of M men's varsity teams set course records Sunday morning.

Purdue University was the overall champion and winner of the Lubbers Cup.

The GVSU women's teams won every race they competed in and took home the women's points trophy. The University of Michigan won the men's points trophy.

See the complete story in Monday's print and electronic editions of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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