California State University, Long Beach

BCA Announces Campaign for “Olympiad” 8+

Saturday, 13. September 2014


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:

– 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

LBSU Athletics Announces Revised Branding, Beach Crew Follows

Friday, 12. September 2014


The sport of rowing at Long Beach State has the dis&nc&on of being among the oldest, continuous, teams on campus since its founding in 1949. We are fortunate of having a modern boathouse less than a mile from campus. With a renewed interest in our efforts on campus, having reconnected with our founders and alumni, we wanted to update you on some important changes to Beach Crew effective Fall 2014.

On July 15, 2014, Long Beach State Athletics unveiled a refreshed visual identity that includes a word mark, a new font, refreshed logos, and other improvements that will serve a variety of goals: ensuring continuity regarding program names and marks, increasing pride and support among fans and the Long Beach community, and helping to celebrate the successes of LBSU’s athletic programs.

“The refreshed visual identity will provide an increased focus on the athletic programs of the only four-year university in the city of Long Beach, as well as a concentration on the moniker, “The Beach.” The team nickname for all sports except baseball will remain the 49ers, as it has been since the university’s founding in 1949. The first step in this process is the introduction of refreshed logos, which will immediately look familiar to Long Beach State supporters.”

While Beach Crew has operated through the Department of Club Sports & Recreation for a number of years, there are four highly competitive teams in our department that will also follow this movement. In preparation of this change, the team has filed for an official name change with CSULB Student Life and Development to be recognized as “Long Beach State Rowing”. The term “rowing” rather than “crew” has been identified to have better impact for prospective athletes and general awareness in the community.

While you may see many changes on campus, at the Walter Pyramid, and Blair Field, not much will be changing at our boathouse. “Beach Crew’s” traditional identity will live on to maintain our long heritage since its founding in the late 1950’s.

We invite you to look at the new logos, word mark and branding updates that will highlight the look of LBSU Athletics from 2014-15 onward.

5-Year Chase Boat Conversion Project Finishes Off With The Arrival of the Nancy Jezak ’73

Sunday, 31. August 2014


In the Fall racing season of 2009, Beach Crew was hit with an unfortunate problem. Initially addressed in a 2010 report to the Beach Crew Alumni Association and friends, the coaching staff was put in tricky situation. They were unable to do their job efficiently. There’s a problem when your coach can’t keep up with the crew, let alone a referee trying to chase a race. With a run on “coaching launches” at the Long Beach Rowing Association, Beach Crew was faced with a difficult challenge to get a better fleet. With most west-coast manufacturing operations of powered catamarans heading east, the options were limited.

The project was launched in the next year by Brandin Grams, BCA’s Director of Outreach, and Daniel McGill, Coach of the Southern California Scullers Club in Huntington Harbor. The first of four catamarans arrived in January 2012 and was built from Bob Whitford’s famous “WhitCat” design that you see all over Newport Harbor and up at the Sacramento State Aquatic Center. After realizing that these were too big for our use, let alone take up limited dock space, an alternative had to be researched. At the same time, it was identified that funds would only be available for a local purchase or project. Brandin had gathered the support of several sources when he and Dan discovered a clever builder, Luke Forster, in Lake Elsinore, CA, who had our answer. With the additional help from Mitchell Brothers Machine Works in Buena Park and Tradewind Inflatables of Santa Ana, we made the best of what we had, which ended up working out for the betterment of the coaching staff. The second “blue” catamaran based on this design arrived in April 2013, after a successful test run in Huntington Harbor. The bow of the blue catamaran has a replica of Beach Crew’s old “Sharky” vessel that retired in 2011. The third “yellow” catamaran, which bleeds the true “Black and Gold”, arrived in August 2013.

The final of four vessels arrived on August 30, 2014, and was named after Nancy Jezak (Grgas), wife of former BCA President, Victor Grgas. Nancy passed away earlier this year and is survived by her husband Victor, kids Steven and Jeff, and two grandkids.

May Nancy guide the crews for years to come.

Beach Crew would like to thank the numerous alums, companies, and friends in making this project a reality:

  • Mitchell & Duce, Inc. (Mitchell Brothers) Machine Works, Buena Park
  • Tradewind Inflatables & Marine, Santa Ana
  • Fueling & Service Technologies (FASTECH), Buena Park
  • The Ocean Institute at Dana Point
  • Murray’s Marine Supply
  • Minney’s Yacht Supply
  • The Beach Crew Alumni Association, Board of Directors
  • CSULB Fleet Services & Joe Salvador
  • Grams Medical, Inc.
  • Grams Engineering
  • Netrendity Networks
  • Victor & Nancy Grgas
  • Dan McGill
  • Bob Whitford
  • Luke Forster
  • David Haldeman

Our efforts don’t stop here as the fleet requires continued care in the road ahead. Everyone’s continued support is greatly appreciated.



Anyone remember ol’ Sharky? The Sharkmouth? The Predator? His legacy lives on!