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'It's Lubbers Cup weather'

Becky Vargo • Apr 12, 2018 at 8:00 AM

Update (Thursday, 2 p.m.): Officials have announced a change in the race course because of anticipated high winds. The races will now start in Smith’s Bayou, go under the West Spring Lake Road bridge and finish at the Spring Lake Yacht Club. Races are scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Saturday and run all day, weather permitting.

Original Story:

The weekend’s forecast of wind, rain and possibly snow is nothing new for several Division 1 college teams attending the annual rowing regatta on Spring Lake.

“It’s Lubbers Cup weather,” said Grand Valley State University Coach John Bancheri.

The 23rd annual Don Lubbers Cup Regatta is scheduled to run all day Saturday, as well as Sunday morning on Spring Lake.

Predicted strong winds may force the teams to move the start from Keenan Marina up into Smith’s Bayou. The race would then end at the staging site, Spring Lake Yacht Club, instead of farther down the lake past the Spring Lake Beach.

“We thought we dodged a bullet last weekend,” said Bancheri, noting that the regatta was pushed back a week from the normal run date in hopes of getting a little nicer weather. 

But nicer weather isn’t likely, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Cort Scholten.

“This is looking like a pretty windy storm,” Scholten said.

“Right now we are predicting (for Saturday) sustained winds of 15-20 mph from the east or northeast with gusts up to 30 mph,” he noted.

There will be at least a steady light rain all weekend but heavier rain will come in waves, the meteorologist said.

The winds are carrying cold air down from northern Ontario, and although the high on Saturday is predicted in the mid 40s, it’s more likely that the temperatures will be in the 30s, Scholten said.

The big question right now is where the 32 degree line will land. Scholten said if it comes south of Muskegon, there could be some freezing rain late Saturday into Sunday.

Chamber of Commerce Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Ferrysburg President Joy Gaasch said that as usual, they are preparing for cooler temperatures.

“Well have a warming tent for the athletes as we have the last couple years,” she said. “We also have heaters in the hospitality tent, which is open to the public.”

The tents are located at the host site for the event – The Spring Lake Yacht Club, 17500 W. Spring Lake Road.

There is no public parking at the Spring Lake Yacht Club. Shuttle buses will be available from Johnston Boiler and Keenan Marina in Ferrysburg.

Teams normally start warming up Friday, but there is a chance of rain and a thunderstorm later in the day. Competition is planned for 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

Grand Valley State University club rowers will compete against Michigan State University, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, Notre Dame, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio State University, Drake University, University of Minnesota and Purdue University

Nine men’s teams and six women’s team will compete for trophies in 4- and 8-seat rowing shells, and the event will be live-streamed on WKTV.

Updates on the races will be available online at Facebook.com/lubberscup, and on Twitter at @lubberscup or @gvsurowing. Additional information is available at the Lubbers Cup website, lubberscup.com.

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