Tomorrow, Cornell’s crews will compete in the 18th annual Schwartz Cup Regatta. Come rain or shine, the crews will race on the Lake Cayuga Inlet. Only Cornell crews compete for the prized cup, and the regatta marks the first opportunity for incoming freshmen to compete against the rest of the crews.
“The whole squad will be out racing,” said lightweight men’s coach Todd Kennett ’91. “It’s the first time the Cornell freshmen will get to see the varsity in action.”
The event is sponsored each year by crew supporters Dick and Jean Schwartz. The Schwartz Cup is well known in the Cornell rowing community as a fund raiser and a reunion for all of the crew squads. All 200 Cornell rowers will be on the water, as well as a large contingent of crew alumni, who traditionally return and race at the regatta.
This year there are to be between three and five alumni boats competing in the race.
The race is about four miles long and will be held regardless of the weather. It has been held annually under a variety of names since the creation of the crew squads. It was was originally in November, but coaches were forced to move it to October after the Ivy League regulated a 49-day no-practice rule.
Each boat races other members of the same crew – giving intrasquad rivalries a chance to play out on the water. There will be awards given for each category’s winner.
Before the big race, a costume competition is held and skits are performed by each crew. The team with the best costumes in the skit competition will win an award.
“It’s always a lot of fun,” said heavyweight men’s coach Dan Roock. “We watch these guys row every day but we never really get a sense of how creative they are. The skit shows can be a riot.”
The event is the first time that the different crew teams will meet this year. The race serves as a great opportunity for freshmen to compare their times against the varsity teams.
“Any time you send boats out to race, things can happen,” Roock said. “You can see people bring out a race that you didn’t expect.”
All of the Cornell rowers will be out to compete and have a good time tomorrow, as the Schwartz Cup serves as a preview of each crew’s season.
“You can use everything as a indicator of how this year will go,” Kennett said. “You can see the times that these guys have and the boat speed they are generating. Hopefully they’ll go into this with an attitude like, ‘Hey, let’s go win.'”
Team spirit is high as the focus is solely on Cornell rowing.
“It’s a really good first race,” said women’s assistant coach Hilary Gehman. “It gets the jitters out and gets us ready for our competition. It’s an awesome day to hype up Cornell rowing. In terms of what it does for the team aspect of the sport, its great.”
Archived article by Matt Sarnak