California State University, Long Beach

A Decade of Service: a message from the Director of Outreach

Saturday, 7. October 2017

Dear Friends, Families, and Alumni,

It has been almost ten years since the Beach Crew Alumni Association’s (BCA) formation took place in October 2008. About 80 people were in attendance. I was going into my last year as a competitor during this time and was selected to be the men’s team captain. In what looked to be a confusing evening of disaster, a few select people were pulled together to form what was the BCA Advisory Committee, the group that formed the association in writing a year later. Go forward eight years later and it became its own non-profit corporation as the team begins to celebrate their 60th season.

I was a spring transfer athlete from Orange Coast College. Since my first visit to the Pete Archer Boathouse in November 2007, I have seen more light shed on Beach Crew from what was a very dark period when I first arrived. While a fundraising organization, the BCA also serves as an adviser to this team’s leadership. Together we have accomplished many feats, including the acquisition of shells such as the Joan Lind Van Blom, John Cashman, and the Amy Fuller. In my own led efforts, the $50,000 launch fleet replacement project, with thanks to many select alumns, friends, and families, was the most challenging project I had done in my life to date. This project had a long-term impact for the team’s image and set the standard of program quality for the next decade. This still doesn’t top the several days I spent in university archives scavenging through old publications, simply to find names of our past, and to have come across a name from 1955, that no one ever heard of. Some questioned this validity and that I was wasting my time digging through rubbish. But it turned out to be true, and what an honor it was to see Dr. Ludwig Spolyar, our co-founder, at the KillaGrams 8+ dedication on November 10, 2012. It is such a surprise seeing him when he seeks me out at the annual WIRA Championships.

Over the last three years, I have turned much of my focus in the sport over to USRowing, first obtaining my referee license and then escalating through the plenary examination as a chief regatta official. On top of this, a rather unexpected but gratifying effort in broadcast media of this sport has been on the rise, almost more than I am able to keep up with. I am blessed to have many friends who have followed. With both of these efforts I have had the opportunity to travel around the country, and soon, maybe the globe, seeing different venues and meeting such great people in this sport, some who don’t even row. The potential problem is that I am wearing too many hats.

After much deliberation, I have made the decision to focus on these other activities in the sport. The 2017/18 academic year will be my last as your Director of Outreach, ending June 30, 2018. I am committed to serving you, so far as I am able, through the end of the academic year and transition such work. After such time has passed, by no means is this a good-bye or sudden disappearance, but rather a change of commitment as a member of the BCA.

I look forward to serving you in the last several months we have together including the annual regatta and the 60th celebration. Perhaps someday down the road after a successful career I will return to serve such a noble cause.

 

Brandin J. Grams ’10
Director of Outreach, Beach Crew Alumni Association

LBS Women Medal at WIRA for 4th Year in a Row!

Saturday, 3. June 2017

Photo cred: Mike Modlin. Womens Pair Penny Gallardo and Megan DeVore holding their silver medals

WIRA is the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association. For west coast collegiate club rowing, this is typically the championship regatta (unless you go to ACRA). The venue is set at gorgeous Lake Natoma, a few miles outside of Sacramento, CA. Do not let the beauty of the lake fool you, the competition is fierce. If you want to win on that water, you need to earn every meter. When teams showed up on Friday to practice the wind was so bad that many crews were not allowed to row until it was safe. Some did not get row at all. This can be a significant disadvantage if you have never raced on a particular course before. It is expected to get in a practice row the day before a regatta if possible, especially when traveling to a new body of water. This was disheartening and reminiscent of WIRA last year. The wind ended up being too severe on Saturday afternoon and almost half of the afternoon races were canceled. Thankfully, the wind died down and the conditions ended up being some of the best I’ve seen. There was a strong tail wind pushing boats towards the finish line, as well as a strong current pulling boats in the same direction. It was rumored that with the wind and current, teams should expect to shave 10-15 seconds off of their expected times.

Photo cred: Mike Modlin. Womens pair Penny Gallardo and Megan DeVore in grand finals

Coach Ian Simpson and the LBS Women’s team were ready, especially the V2- and V2x (Pair and double). The double was rowed by Destanie Brush and Anabel Cardenas. Destanie has had previous success on this course in the pair and also at ACRA when she sculled a single. Anabel served as the women’s V4+ coxswain, so it says a lot about her ability to be able to both cox and row successfully. They raced hard and won a bronze medal this year, a well deserved result for these girls. The other two women who won medals were second year rower Megan DeVore and fourth year rower as well as women’s team president, Penelope Gallardo. They both worked hard all season and capped 2017 off with a silver medal performance in the pair. This was Penelope’s final race of her collegiate career, congratulations to her and the rest of the women’s team for all their success this season.

Photo cred: Kayla Bollinger. Women’s V4+ racing their heat

The men’s team had their success as well. Most of the boats, both novice and varsity posted the best times they have seen all season. Unfortunately the competition was stiff and the end result had many of the men’s boats near the bottom of the rankings. No medals this year for the fellas.

Photo cred: Mike Modlin. Men’s V8+ vs. Humboldt St. in 3rd final

WIRA is always fun, regardless of the outcome. It is a great time to bond with teammates. Both on the 7+ hour bus rides there and back, as well as in between races, hanging out at the race course and in the hotels. LBS Rowing appreciates all the support from the Beach Crew Alumni Foundation and the Parents who travel to see their children compete. They show up every year at the regattas with open arms, supporting words of encouragement, a giant EZ Up tent for shade, and tables and chairs with food for all rowers on the men’s and women’s team. It is truly an honor to have their support. So from all of us at Long Beach State Rowing, Thank you.

Photo cred: Mike Modlin. US Rowing Referee and Beach Crew Alumni Brandin Grams

With the conclusion of the season we all look forward to heading back home and relaxing for the summer. Not relaxing too much though because next season is right around the corner and those who work hard and smart in the off-season have success during the regular season. It has been a pleasure to write for LBS Rowing this season and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the program for participating, coaches, rowers, parents, alumni, LBRA, who so graciously shares the boathouse with us, and of course, the man behind the scenes who does more work than we realize and never looks for recognition but deserves so much credit… Boatmaster John O’Donnel (pretty much our version of George Yeomen Pocock).

Thank you very much for all the support. I’ll leave you with this quote:

“It is hard to make the boat go as fast as you want to. The enemy of course, is resistance of the water, as you have to displace the amount of water equal to the weight of the men (or women) and equipment, but that very water is what supports you and that very enemy is your friend. So is life: the very problems you must overcome also support you and make you stronger in overcoming them.”

-George Yeoman Pocock

San Diego Crew Classic 2017

Thursday, 20. April 2017

Photo by Dylan Widjaja

By Sean McCrea

Men’s Varsity Rower

For most of the rowing community across the US, San Diego Crew Classic marks the start of racing season. Many of the mid west and east coast schools have to deal with frozen lakes and rivers during the winter and early spring. The weather restrictions force them to train for months at a time indoors, using the rowing ergometer. So a Regatta in sunny San Diego is a nice way to welcome the new sprint season for those who have been confined to the inside of their respective boathouse since Thanksgiving. For west coast clubs, we have the luxury of being able to row on the water year round. One could argue that we are spoiled, but that’s another story.

This year at SDCC, LBS rowing sent 5 boats between the men and women. The women sent two 8+’s and a 4+. The men sent two 8+’s. Here are the results in the order that their race took place starting with Saturday morning.

Photo by Dylan Widjaja Men’s V8+

Photo by Dylan Widjaja Women’s Open 8+

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday

Men’s Varsity 8+ finished with a 6:59.3 and was 5th of 5 in their heat

Women’s Varsity 8+ finished with an 8:18.9 and got 7th of 7 in their heat

Men’s Novice 8+ finished with a 7:04.3 and got 5th of 5 in their heat

Women’s Open 8+ finished with a 7:18.7 and got 4th of 7

Men’s Varsity 8+ finished with a 6:58.9 and got 6th of 7 in 3rd Finals

Photo from Row2k.com Women’s V4+

Photo by Row2k.com
Men’s Novice 8+

 

 

Sunday

Women’s Varsity 8+ finished with an 8:28.8 and got 6th of 6 in Petite Finals

Women’s Varsity 4+ finished with a 7:53.8 and got 3rd of 8 in Grand Finals

 

LBS Rowing now sets it’s sights on WIRA which will be held at Lake Natoma in Sacramento in the end of April.