Dad Vail Regatta

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Men's Varsity Heavyweight Eight Open Second Final, 2010

The Dad Vail Regatta is the largest regular intercollegiate rowing event in the United States,[1][2] drawing over a hundred colleges and universities from North America. The regatta has been held annually on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, since 1953.

It was renamed the Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta in 2019 for new sponsor Thomas Jefferson University, a private university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, formed in 2017 through the merger of Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson University.[3]

It was renamed the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta in 2010 for sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management, a Scottish investment firm whose U.S. operations are headquartered in Center City Philadelphia.[4]

The purposes of the Dad Vail Rowing Association are: "to perpetuate the 'Dad' Vail tradition, foster and encourage intercollegiate rowing among colleges new to the sport, and promote schedules for member schools."

Origin of the name "Dad Vail"[edit]

The regatta was named after Harry Emerson "Dad" Vail, for his years of coaching at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

The story of the Dad Vail Regatta, and of the Rowing Association, begins with two men, "Rusty" Callow, then coach at the University of Pennsylvania, who came up with the idea, and Lev Brett, who made the idea a reality.

Callow originated the idea of promoting competition among colleges struggling to found rowing programs. These included schools too small to hope to ever compete in major races and larger institutions not yet ready for such competition. In order to create competition, Rusty created a trophy as the competition prize, in 1934, which was named in honor of Vail.

Since then, the name "Dad" Vail has become one and the same with the race. Vail's passion for rowing helped form the modern-day Dad Vail Regatta and motivate the multitudes of colleges to come compete.

History of the regatta[edit]

The first race, before the formation of the Dad Vail Rowing Association, was held in 1934 with "Rusty" and the University of Pennsylvania as hosts. Marietta College, coached by Ellis MacDonald won the first leg on the new trophy by finishing second to a Penn sub-varsity boat, which was an added entry. Rutgers, coached by Ned Ten Eyck, was third and Manhattan College, coached by "Skippy" Walz was fourth.

The race in 1935 was at Marietta. With the addition of Rollins College and Wisconsin, the order at the finish of the race was: Rutgers, Penn, Marietta, Wisconsin, Manhattan, and Rollins. There was no race held in 1937. In both 1936 and 1938, only Rutgers and Manhattan competed on the Harlem. Rutgers won both times. In February 1939, a meeting was held and the Dad Vail Rowing Association was formed in order to help promote the race and encourage schools to compete.

The growth of the regatta is pointed out by the following statistics: in the first association regatta, seven colleges sent seven varsity crews to Red Bank. At Philadelphia in 1961, twenty colleges sent forty crews to compete in varsity, JV, and freshman races. Currently, over a hundred colleges and universities from the United States and Canada compete, making the Dad Vail Regatta the largest collegiate regatta in the United States and bringing thousands of student athletes to Philadelphia.

Women competed for the first time in 1976.[5]As coxswain for Marietta College's JV heavyweight eight that year, Deborah Patterson was the first woman to win a gold medal at the Dad Vail.

Briefly in late 2009, the Dad Vail Organizing Committee announced that the regatta would be held in Rumson, New Jersey[6] in 2010, citing loss of local sponsors.[7] However, this decision was soon rescinded due to pressure from the City and logistical problems with the Rumson location, and the event returned to Philadelphia for 2010.[8][9]

The Dad Vail entered its 75th year in 2013.

Winners of select events[edit]

Men's HW 8+ Men's LW 8+ Men's JV 8+ Men's Frosh 8+
1934 Marietta[10] -- --
1935 Rutgers -- --
1936 Rutgers -- --
1938 Rutgers -- --
1939 Rutgers -- --
1940 Rutgers -- --
1941 Rutgers -- --
1942 Rutgers -- --
1943 -- --
1944 -- --
1945 -- --
1946 -- --
1947 Boston U. -- --
1948 Boston U. -- --
1949 -- --
1950 -- --
1951 La Salle[11] -- --
1952 La Salle[11] -- --
1953 La Salle[11] -- --
1954 Dartmouth[12] -- --
1955 Dartmouth[12] -- --
1956 La Salle[11] -- --
1957 La Salle[11] -- --
1958 La Salle[11] -- La Salle[13]
1959 Brown[12] -- --
1960 Brown[14] -- --
1961 Brown[14] -- --
1962 Georgetown[14] -- La Salle[13]
1963 Marietta[10][14] -- --
1964 Georgetown[14] -- Marietta
1965 Northeastern[15] -- Northeastern Northeastern
1966 Marietta[10] -- Marietta[10] Marietta[10]
1967 Marietta[10][14] -- Marietta[10]
1968 Georgetown -- Marietta[10] Marietta[10]
1969 Georgetown -- Marietta[10] Marietta[10]
1970 St. Joseph's[16] -- --
1971 Georgetown Marietta[10] Marietta[10] Marietta[10]
1972 -- Marietta[10]
Men's HW 8+ Men's LW 8+ Men's JV 8+ Men's Frosh 8+
Men's HW 8+ Men's LW 8+ Men's JV 8+ Men's Frosh 8+ Men's FLW 8+ Women's HW 8+ Women's LW 8+ Women's FLW 8+ Women's D II/III HW 8+ (D III Beginning in 2010)
1973 Massachusetts[17] Marietta[10] Marietta[10] Marietta[10]
1974 Massachusetts[18] Drexel[19] St Joseph's[20] Massachusetts[21] Marietta[22]
1975 Coast Guard[23] -- --
1976 Coast Guard[24] Marietta[10] Marietta[10] Ithaca[25]
1977 Coast Guard[26] La Salle[27] Coast Guard[28] Ithaca[29]
1978 Marietta[10] Wesleyan University
1979 Coast Guard Ithaca[25]
1980 Massachusetts Trinity College Coast Guard Trinity College
1981 Coast Guard Trinity College Trinity College
1982 Florida Tech Coast Guard University of Rhode Island
1983 Temple University[30] Marietta[10]
1984 Temple University University of Rhode Island
1985 Temple University
1986 Temple University
1987 Temple University
1988 Florida Tech Massachusetts[31] Central Florida
1989 Temple University Georgetown Temple Western Ontario Washington U. St. Louis
1990 Temple University Virginia Temple University
1991 Temple University Rochester Temple Marietta[10] Central Florida
1992 Temple University Georgetown Navy[32] Navy[32]
1993 Temple University University of Miami
1994 Temple University Marietta[10] Central Florida
1995 Temple University University of Toronto Michigan Vanderbilt Central Florida
1996 Temple University
1997 Temple University[33] Saint Joseph's[33] Drexel Drexel Purdue Western Ontario[33] Villanova[33]
1998 Temple University[34] Florida Tech[34] Temple Purdue[34] Villanova Purdue[34] Villanova[34]
1999 Temple University[35] Saint Joseph's[35] RIT Marietta Saint Joseph's[35] Villanova[35] Delaware[35]
2000 Temple University[36] Purdue[36] RIT Villanova Georgia Tech Villanova[36] Massachusetts[36]
2001 Temple University[37] Villanova[37] Temple Marietta[10] Santa Clara Boston College[37] Delaware[37]
2002 Dowling[38] Fordham[38] Marietta[10] Marietta[10] Massachusetts[38] Delaware[38]
2003 Temple University[39] Delaware[39] Temple St. Joseph's St. Joseph's Massachusetts[39] Bucknell[39]
2004 Temple University[40] Boston College[40] Temple Marietta[10] St. Joseph's Sacramento State[40] Purdue[40]
2005 Michigan[41] Boston College[41] St. Joseph's Purdue St. Joseph's U. Connecticut[41] Dayton[41]
2006 Marietta[10][42] Georgia Tech[42] Temple St. Joseph's St. Joseph's Saint Joseph's[42] Dayton[42]
2007 Purdue[43] Georgia Tech[43] Temple Bucknell Florida Tech Purdue[43] Ohio State[43] Washington University in St. Louis
2008 Purdue Fordham Grand Valley Delaware Delaware California-Davis Central Florida Dowling
2009 Michigan Delaware Temple Michigan MSOE Grand Valley Bucknell Michigan St. Mercyhurst
2010 Brock Mercyhurst Drexel St. Joseph's Michigan St. Sacramento State UMass Mercyhurst
2011 Michigan Mercyhurst Virginia Purdue Purdue Purdue Bucknell Mercyhurst
2012 Michigan Mercyhurst Michigan Marietta Delaware Duke Bucknell Mercyhurst
2013 Drexel Delaware Michigan Drexel Delaware Grand Valley Bucknell Barry
2014 Michigan MIT Drexel Jacksonville Brock Massachusetts MIT Nova Southeastern
2015 Florida Tech Delaware Drexel Drexel Mercyhurst Massachusetts MIT Barry
2016 Florida Tech Mercyhurst Drexel Drexel Massachusetts MIT Barry
2017 Drexel University of Delaware St. Joseph's University Drexel
2018 Temple University Mercyhurst Temple Temple

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Official Dad Vail Regatta site
  2. ^ "The biggest university rowing regatta in the US". Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Jefferson Inks Sponsorship Deal with Dad Vail Regatta". Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  4. ^ DiStefano, Joseph N. (April 14, 2010). "Dad Vail Regatta saved for Philly by investor Aberdeen". Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 12 September 2013.
  5. ^ "Women's Team History". ITHACA college. 2011-10-01.
  6. ^ "Powered by the people sponsor NJ". Powered By the People Media Division. 2010-09-17.
  7. ^ Barned-Smith, St. John (November 17, 2009). "Dad Vail race relocating to N.J., at least for 2010". Philadelphia Daily News. Retrieved November 17, 2009.
  8. ^ "It's Official: Dad Vail Will Return In 2010". Philadelphia Daily News. December 17, 2009. Archived from the original on 23 December 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2009.
  9. ^ Dad Vail. Accessed December 17, 2009.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Marietta Dad Vail Champions".
  11. ^ a b c d e f LaSalle University Alumni Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ a b c, pt. 4 Archived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ a b [1]
  14. ^ a b c d e f, pt. 5 Archived 2007-06-26 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Northeastern University Men's Crew History Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ St. Joseph's University Rowing Team History[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Massachusetts Daily Collegian 5/1973
  18. ^ UMass 6:09.5,St Joseph's 6:11.2, Coast Guard 6:11.3. The Oarsman, Pg 49 July/August 1974
  19. ^ Drexel 6:16.5, Villanova 6:21.8, FIT 6:22.2. The Oarsman, Pg 49 July/August 1974
  20. ^ St Joseph's 6:27.5, Marietta 6:28.5, UMass 6:28.6. The Oarsman, Pg 49 July/August 1974
  21. ^ UMass 6:28.7, Marist 6:34.4, Trinity 6:38.8. The Oarsman, Pg 49 July/August 1974
  22. ^ Marietta 6:41.4, Coast Guard 6:41.5, Marist 6:50.7. The Oarsman Pg 49 July/August 1974
  23. ^ Massachusetts Daily Collegian 5/1975
  24. ^ Massachusetts Daily Collegian 5/1976
  25. ^ a b Ithaca University Crew History
  26. ^ Coast Guard 6.10.5, FIT 6.13.5, Ithaca 6.16.7 Ithaca Crew News Fall 1977
  27. ^ LaSalle 6.08.3, Coast Guard 6.08.4, Williams 6.08.9 Ithaca Crew News Fall 1977
  28. ^ Coast Guard 6.20.3, Conn Coll 6.25, LaSalle 6.25.5 Ithaca Crew News Fall 1977
  29. ^ Ithaca 6.11.3, Coast Guard 6.17.6 Purdue 6.18.7 Ithaca Crew News Fall 1977
  30. ^ Dad Vail Regatta: 1983 Championship Revisited
  31. ^ NY Times May 15 1988
  32. ^ a b U.S. Naval Academy
  33. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 1997 results
  34. ^ a b c d e Dad Vail Official Website, 1998 results
  35. ^ a b c d e Dad Vail Official Website, 1999 results
  36. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2000 results
  37. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2001 results
  38. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2002 results
  39. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2003 results
  40. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2004 results
  41. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2005 results
  42. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2006 results
  43. ^ a b c d Dad Vail Official Website, 2007 results

External links[edit]