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

Seasons Greetings from the BCA Board of Directors

Saturday, 24. December 2016

Above: The lights of Naples Canal – Photo credit: John Van Blom


Dear Beach Crew Alumni and Friends of Long Beach State Rowing:

It’s that time again where we want to express our gratitude to all of our alums, parents, and friends who make our efforts possible. In 2016, we strived for excellence, including the dedication of the John Cashman 4+, welcoming the Queen Mary as a new premiere sponsor of the Naples Island College Head Race, and the push through the state legislature to approve the naming of the State Highway 1 Cerritos Channel bridge span after Joan Lind Van Blom, specifically noting the BCA’s efforts in the text of Senate Concurrent Resolution Bill 102 (SCR102). Beach Crew is more than just an experience for our athletes at The Beach. It’s a community of supporters who enrich our purpose, our legacy, and the impact to those who seek the experience. Beach Crew is now in its 60th racing season. While we are still defining details on a “diamond jubilee” gathering, 60 years is a feat that should be commended.

We continue to be grateful of our coaching staff and their efforts. Since last spring, our athletes have been coming home with more medals and have finished higher in their respective levels. Long Beach State returned to the American Collegiate Rowing Championships in Gainesville, GA, after a 4-year hiatus. Back at home, the Naples Island College Head Race has gained participation, and with the continued support from The Queen Mary, the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Long Beach Century Club, our efforts continue to climb and make the difference.

In March 2016, the BCA became an independent 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. While we remain a project of the CSULB 49er Foundation, this move enables us to get more of every dollar that you give directly to our efforts and the team’s operations. This also greatly improves our procurement process and response to donors.

Over the past year we have heard several inquiries on where to obtain officially-licensed team merchandise. We are happy to announce a new permanent vendor through Sew Sporty. The BCA also has its own merchandise which you can order directly through us.

CSULB continues to be a university of choice for many prospective students. The campus announced on December 19 that enrollment applications for the upcoming Fall 2017 term have reached an all-time high. The university received a combined 91,268 applications, with 61,716 from first-time freshmen and 29,552 from transfers. Around this same time, Kiplinger’s Business Magazine ranked CSULB 52 in the list of Best Values in Public Colleges and ranked 156 among all colleges. A total of 200 colleges were ranked. We hope to take advantage of this continued trend and introduce the sport those who have never touched an oar.

Before we sign off for the rest of the year, we’d like to remind everyone that if you have not updated your membership for this academic year, please consider that there is still time for a tax deductible donation to the BCA. Your support is making a huge difference in maintaining a quality rowing team at LBSU. You can still send your $25 membership fee and any other contribution via

The team’s Spring 2017 schedule will be released on On the behalf of the BCA Board of Directors, all of us wish you the best for the holidays and into 2017.

Give Now

Go Beach!

Brandin Grams ’10
Director of Outreach

2016 Naples Island College Regattas

Friday, 18. November 2016

nicrc16It’s that time again for Long Beach State’s annual regatta, the Naples Island College Head Race and the Novice Sprints, sponsored by The Queen Mary, the Long Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Long Beach Century Club. Join us this weekend as several Southern California teams go head to head around the 4200m course around Naples Island. Race times begin 8:00AM on Saturday.

The Seal Beach Lions Club is hosting breakfast at the Long Beach State Boathouse Saturday morning 9:00AM-12:00PM for a $5 donation.

At approximately 10:00am there will be an awards ceremony on the wash deck of the Pete Archer Boathouse to the top performing crews. The Beach Crew Alumni Association will be presenting, for the first time, a perpetual trophy to the overall outstanding team, named in honor of the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary Trophy will be presented to the winning school by Queen Mary Commodore Everette Hoard. We will also be dedicating a 4+ racing shell in honor of LBSU alum John Cashman. LBSU President Dr. Jane Conoley will be the featured speaker.

More information about this weekend’s festivities can be found at or by clicking on the packet cover on the left.

trcFor those of you unable to join us, TRC is broadcasting the head race event on Sunday starting at 7:00AM, hosted by our very own Dave Straley. Watch it at

gd_logo tacobeach
Members of the Beach Crew Alumni Association are invited to attend a pre-race gathering Friday night, 11/18 6:00pm, at Glory Days Beachside Sport Grill in Seal Beach (620 Pacific Coast Hwy). After the regatta, we will continue the celebration of the newly dedicated John Cashman 4+ at Taco Beach in Long Beach (2099 Bellflower Blvd).

See you there!