Vikings, pirates, and 80s rock stars raced on Cayuga Inlet Saturday at Cornell’s annual Schwartz Cup Regatta. All three Cornell crews and a large alumni contingent competed at the same time. The event serves to celebrate Cornell rowing, as only Cornell crews participate in the 5,000-meter race. The Schwartz Cup is very different from the other races the crews compete in, consisting of a race around the inlet and a costume competition in which each boat dresses up in extravagant costumes.
According to the teams, the Schwartz Cup is as much about camaraderie as it was about racing, and most of the Cornell rowing community members attended.
“It was nice to get everyone out there racing,” said junior heavyweight rower Tyler Davis. “We’re all good friends, so it was cool to spend some time together.”
Upwards of 15 boats raced around the inlet on a tactically difficult course. The race started at the Collier Boathouse, with boats starting every 30 seconds. The crews raced around a sharp left turn then came straight back and finished back at the boathouse. A varsity lightweight boat had the fastest time of the day, followed closely by two other varsity heavyweight boats. Morale was high throughout the whole day and everyone was in good spirits. Each boat performed a skit before the race, and there were plenty of inside jokes.
“It was a great opportunity to see rowers in a different light,” said junior heavyweight rower Adrian Nino De Rivera. “We always see each other in a racing setting, so the skits were a lot of fun.”
After the skit competition, all three crews and alumni jumped into their boats in costume and began the race. The regatta served as a good practice for the crews and also represents the first time the freshman squads get to experience race conditions.
“It was exciting to see how fast some of the underclassmen were,” Davis said. “We have a really young team this year and some of the younger guys have a lot of potential.”
The regatta lets boats compete against other members of the same crew, giving rise to intra-squad rivalries and fierce competition. The crews were split up based on strength and an attempt was made to have evenly matched boats. The men’s heavyweight race was very close, with the winning boat finishing only three-tenths of a second in front of the second place boat.
“It was nice to race with people in our own class,” Nino De Rivera said. “It was like racing back in freshman year.”
The winner of each crew’s race received a pewter cup. A cup was also given to the boat with the best costumes.
The regatta was traditionally held at the end of the fall season, but coaches were forced to move the event to October after the Ivy League regulated a 49-day no-practice rule.
All three crews travel to Boston next week for the two-day Head of the Charles Regatta. Following the Head of the Charles are the Princeton Chase and Belly of the Carnegie Regattas.
Archived article by Matt Sarnak