Lubbers Cup

Becky Vargo • Apr 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM

FERRYSBURG — A much smaller team forced Grand Valley State University coaches to focus efforts on the eight-seat boats for the 22nd annual Lubbers Cup Regatta Saturday and Sunday.

Despite not having competitors in the open 4 events, GVSU rowers hung in to tie for second place overall with the University of Michigan in the 11-team event.

Purdue won the overall team title in slightly over two days of racing on Spring Lake.

On Sunday, rowers were only able to complete two races before the event was called off due to high winds.

The Big 10-weighted competition was based at the Spring Lake Yacht Club.

Purdue also took the overall women’s points, while Michigan claimed the men’s title.

Rowers faced breezy, but sunny conditions for a full day of racing on Saturday.

The wind picked up overnight, pushing up to 20 mph from the south and making it difficult for rowers to get to the start and for the team farthest from shore.

GVSU Coach John Bancheri told rowers that officials had canceled the rest of the event Sunday due to unfair conditions.

“You want to race. You don’t want to fight conditions,” said Purdue Head Coach Dave Kucik. “The temperature’s not the big thing. The wind really affects us.”

Kucik said officials made the right call.

Michigan Head Coach Greg Hartsuff, a former GVSU rower, said he was pleased with the event and pleased with the way his team responded to a new lineup.

“This was a good test for them,” he said.

Bancheri said the Michigan men’s varsity 8 team “is the mark” and he was pleased that the GVSU crew is closing the gap between them.

“This was a nice improvement for our men’s team,” he said. “I saw the women progress overall.

GVSU Varsity Women’s Coach Spencer West said his team is used to rowing in rough conditions.

And although they struggled on Saturday, they worked hard and were able to come back and win on Sunday. 

“Right now, we’re a little farther back than we’d like, but things are still within reach,” he said. “And we have a good group of girls to do that.”

Purdue Coach Kucik said the Lubbers Cup is a great experience for his teams.

“It’s well run, well officiated and the competitive level is really high,” he said.

Bancheri agreed that everything went well, with the exception of the weather on Sunday.

“Yesterday was a fantastic day. There was a good flavor of competition,” he said. “Who knew we were going to get 20 mph winds today?

Officials are considering pushing the race back one more week next year in hopes of getting better weather.

Local Chamber President Joy Gaasch said Saturday was the best day ever for the event with lots of kids, parents and other viewers watching.

“Unfortunately on Sunday, winds cut the event short,” she said. “But those that visited had a great time experiencing the Northwest Ottawa County community.”

“And we’re looking forward to Lubbers Cup 2018,” Gaasch said.

GVSU finishes in the event included: 

Men: second in Varsity 8, third in junior varsity 8 and fifth for its freshman novice team.

The women placed third in Varsity 8, third in junior varsity and fifth in freshman novice.

For complete results, go to the Lubbers Cup website at: http://www.gvsuclubsports.com/article/912.php.

Teams competing in the event included: GVSU, University of Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, Purdue, Marquette University, Drake, Eastern Michigan University and Case Western.

Some schools entered women or men only.

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