California State University, Long Beach

VanBlom and Whitford Receive Honors

Monday, 22. September 2014

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Former coach, Bob Whitford and our 49er Hall of Fame, Joan VanBlom, receive annual awards from USRowing.

September 22, 2014

USRowing takes great pride in the tradition of recognizing excellence in our sport though our annual awards. The association is pleased to announce the 2014 annual award winners who will be recognized this fall at either the Golden Oars Awards Dinner in New York City on November 20, or at the USRowing Annual Convention in Jacksonville, Fla. on December 5.

The Clayton W. Chapman Award is presented annually to an individual who best emulates Chapman’s 30-year stewardship of the Eastern Sprints and IRA Championship Regattas. The awardee is an individual who has consistently served in behind-the-scene administrative roles that have previously gone unrecognized. The recipient may be an athlete, coach, referee, administrator, volunteer, regatta organizer, sponsor, vendor or any other individual involved in the staging of a regatta. Bob Whitford is this year’s Clayton Chapman award winner.

Now the park manager for Nathan Benderson Park and World Class Rowing in Sarasota, Fla., Whitford, served as the Director of Rowing and Facilities Manager at the SAC Aquatic Center for the Associated Students of California State University, Sacramento for 23 years. He is a native of Newport Beach, Calif., attended Orange Coast College, University of California at Berkeley and graduated from the University of California at Irvine. He began rowing as a coxswain in the fifth grade and in high school he founded Newport School Boys Rowing.

The Ernestine Bayer Award, formerly Woman of the Year, recognizes outstanding contributions to women’s rowing and/or to an outstanding woman in rowing. Olympian Joan (Lind) Van Blom is this year’s recipient of the award.

Van Blom was the first woman to win an Olympic medal for the United States in rowing, taking silver in the single sculls at the 1976 Olympic Games and in the quadruple sculls at the 1984 Olympics. She has not only medaled as a rower, but also medaled internationally as a coach in the Pan American Games, and currently holds 11 world records on the ergometer.

She has been an ambassador for the sport, raising over a million dollars in grants to bring rowing to high school students and teachers. She currently teaches rowing classes on the ergometer to non-rowers at the Long Beach Boathouse and inspirationally continues to train and compete.

See official Press Release at USRowing

Hard Work Never Perishes for Men’s Team President

Friday, 19. September 2014

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Photo by Jill McGill

 

By Ariana Gastelum

Publicity Manager

Varsity Rower

Like several others who attend Long Beach State University (LBSU), Jacob Bledsoe entered his freshman year in 2012 wanting to try something new. Little did he know, he was going to be president of the varsity LBS Rowing Team, a silver medalist at Club Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tenn. and hoping to compete in an international competition in his future.

After a few days of joining the team out on the water, Bledsoe admitted he was already captivated by the sport.

“I think the third day I was there, we lined up to do a little 250-meter race,” he said. “The sun was rising above all the boats in the harbor, and it was really pretty. The water was completely calm. I keep hearing Ian [Simpson], the women’s coach, say that it’s almost magical. That’s kind of how I felt. In that moment, I knew I had to keep doing this.”

Bledsoe played an important role on the team last year as 5-seat in the varsity-eight and 3-seat in the varsity-four. He was also the team’s vice president.

Last summer, Bledsoe joined the Southern California Scullers Club, a high-performance rowing club that emphasizes in small-boats training, run by Simpson and Dan McGill.

“I want to be able to go to another country and compete in an international competition,” he said. “I thought training with SoCal Scullers would be a really good start…I want to keep training with them and competing with them.”

Bledsoe competed at Club Nationals in Oak Ridge, Tenn. with SoCal Scullers last July. In the intermediate quad, he took second place with a time of 6 minutes and 28.86 seconds, only .1 of a second behind first. In the intermediate single, he won the semi-final and ended fifth out of 18 in the finals with a time of 7 minutes and 52.88 seconds.

This is now Bledsoe’s third year attending LBSU as an international business major with a focus in Germany. He works as a marketing intern at Bosch Home Appliances and is the team captain and president of the LBS Rowing.

Bledsoe’s ultimate goal this year is for the varsity team to win a gold medal at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA).

“Any gold medal would do, whether it’s in a four or an eight…even a pair,” he said. “I think for the novices, I want to see the same thing. I want them to think about making the boat go faster.”

1779110_738897942819195_1059778919448552146_nPhoto by Mark Bledsoe

 

BCA Announces Campaign for “Olympiad” 8+

Saturday, 13. September 2014

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By: Ken Glenn

This year the BCA in undertaking its most ambitious fundraising effort ever and we need your help! I will let our Women’s Team Coach Ian Simpson explain.

The men’s and women’s rowing teams of CSULB need your help to raise $12,000 which will provide each team with a new boat.

The men’s team needs a boat for its lightweight rowers to train and race in. The women’s team is proposing to give the men their Vespoli eight, the Gold Member. The Gold Member is too large for the women and has sat unused on its rack for the past two years, but is in excellent condition and is the perfect boat for lightweight and novice men.

The women’s team has a unique opportunity to replace the Gold Member with the Olympiad, a fully factory-refurbished Resolute eight. The Olympiad, currently owned by the USC women’s team, was the boat in which the University of California, Berkeley women won two NCAA national titles. Fun fact: first-year CSULB assistant/novice coach Megan Smith (“Coach Smitty”) rowed in the Olympiad when she was at Cal.

Your tax-deductible donation will keep the Gold Member in the boathouse. Your donation will provide the men with a top-class boat which they will be able to use immediately. But that’s not all! Your donation will also enable us to buy the Olympiad from USC which will be a perfect fit for the varsity women.

If we sell the Gold Member to another team the men will miss out on this unique opportunity – it may be several years before we’ll be in a position to buy the men a comparable boat. Sure, $12,000 is a lot of money, until you consider that our rival Orange Coast College recently took delivery of a $55,000 German-made Empacher eight. Even a new Vespoli similar to the Gold Member will cost nearly $45,000 to be shipped from Connecticut. With your assistance, for only $12,000, our club will get the benefit of not just one, but two eights which will have an immediate impact on both teams.

Please pledge whatever you can. We have already received a couple of commitments of $500 each, but no amount is too small, every dollar counts. See if your employer has a gift-matching program that you can take advantage of to potentially double your donation.

We will memorialize large donations ($1,500 and above) by naming a seat in either the Olympiad or the Gold Member in your honor. In exchange for an exceptionally generous donation we will conduct a ceremony to rename the Gold Member in your honor. If we raise more than $12,000, the excess will be used primarily for refurbishments to the Gold Member and the Olympiad.
Please make your donation using cashnet, the CSULB administered secure site. Go to “Crew Donation,” input your donation amount and specify “New Boat” in the Comments box: http://beachcrew.org/donate

– Coach Ian Simpson

Beach crew is looking forward to a great season. Your continued support is making a difference!

Go Beach!

Kenneth Glenn ’71
President – The Beach Crew Alumni Association