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1970-71 Crew Team

Posted by David Harding 
1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: David Harding (---.hsd1.il.comcast.net)
Date: January 31, 2021 11:13PM

For those who missed the mention buried in the latest CAM Class Notes section under 1972, Jeff Cornett, the coxswain of the heavyweight crew that won the IRA in 1971, has written an account of the season incorporating entries from his scrapbook. 1970-71 Crew Team For those who don't remember, that was one of the greatest upsets in Cornell sports history. The regular season was abysmal. The coach spent the whole spring shifting rowers and coxswains from boat to boat trying to find a combination that clicked. At the Intercollegiate Rowing Association national championship, they finished dead last in their heat. The next day they squeaked into the finals by winning their repechage race. On the third day, against teams that had had a day of rest, they won, the first time any crew had come through the repechage route to win. The article gives great insight into the sport and especially the role of the coxswain.
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: Al DeFlorio (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net)
Date: February 01, 2021 06:55AM

The IRA was a great event ruined in 1968 when it changed from three miles to 2000 meters.

 
___________________________
Al DeFlorio '65
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: scoop85 (---.hvc.res.rr.com)
Date: February 01, 2021 01:27PM

Al DeFlorio
The IRA was a great event ruined in 1968 when it changed from three miles to 2000 meters.

I’m curious why you think that—I don’t know a lot about rowing, so it wouldn’t seem that changing distance alone would have a signification impact.
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: cu155 (---.hsd1.nh.comcast.net)
Date: February 06, 2021 11:59AM

Different strokes for different folks.

2K races are essentially a drag race and you're at the limit, or over, for the entire race. I've been in races where guys have passed out during the race. The 2K is all about efficiency, power, and being willing to suffer more than the other boats until they crack.

5K races are more measured and usually add in more opportunities for tactical moves as you can't truly go at the limit the entire time. The course would also rarely be straight so there are more opportunities to take moves through turns and under bridges.

At least in rowing today most 5Ks are also run as a 'head race' with a staggered start which leads to a lot more close quarters chasing and passing of boats. The Head of the Charles would be the classic head race example.

When I was rowing at Cornell we never really had the fastest starts but we had excellent base speed. The feeling of rowing through other boats, taking inches, then feet, then open water is special. There is also something magical that you only get with a really good crew that's been together a long time where you're totally in sync with the other rowers and you truly enter a flow state. It's a ton of work for a 5-6 minute race that no one comes to watch but definitely some of my best memories from school.

Since this is a hockey forum, we used to do a couple of practices with the hockey team every year where we'd do the same conditioning and strength training workouts and where we'd also get them on ergs and in a boat. I think they were surprised at how strong lightweight rowers are given our size difference.... I'm also sure the heavyweight crews would have killed to have some of the hockey guys on the team.
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: dbilmes (---.hsd1.ct.comcast.net)
Date: February 08, 2021 03:21PM

This was interesting to read about. It's a great underdog story! Long gone are the days of Sports Illustrated writing stories about collegiate rowing, and CBS news mentiøning it. The Boys in the Boat was a wonderful book about the 1936 Washington crew which won the gold at the Berlin Olympics. In those days, rowing was one of the major spectator sports in the county, with special trains bringing fans up from New York City to watch the major regatta on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: George64 (---.rochester.res.rr.com)
Date: February 08, 2021 05:28PM

dbilmes
In those days, rowing was one of the major spectator sports in the county, with special trains bringing fans up from New York City to watch the major regatta on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.

Major crews maintained boathouses on the Hudson in Poughkeepsie. Only one remains today and is now owned by Marist College, but still called the Cornell Boathouse.
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: jtwcornell91 (Moderator)
Date: February 09, 2021 10:23AM

dbilmes
This was interesting to read about. It's a great underdog story! Long gone are the days of Sports Illustrated writing stories about collegiate rowing, and CBS news mentiøning it. The Boys in the Boat was a wonderful book about the 1936 Washington crew which won the gold at the Berlin Olympics. In those days, rowing was one of the major spectator sports in the county, with special trains bringing fans up from New York City to watch the major regatta on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.

From my summer job working the snack bar on the M/V Rip Van Winkle, I learned that they also ran a special train with bleachers on flatbed cars that would follow the boats along the river. (No idea if that's true, but that's what the captain told the passengers during our Hudson River cruises.)

 
___________________________
JTW

Enjoy the latest hockey geek tools at [www.elynah.com]
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: Al DeFlorio (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net)
Date: February 09, 2021 04:25PM

jtwcornell91
dbilmes
This was interesting to read about. It's a great underdog story! Long gone are the days of Sports Illustrated writing stories about collegiate rowing, and CBS news mentiøning it. The Boys in the Boat was a wonderful book about the 1936 Washington crew which won the gold at the Berlin Olympics. In those days, rowing was one of the major spectator sports in the county, with special trains bringing fans up from New York City to watch the major regatta on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.

From my summer job working the snack bar on the M/V Rip Van Winkle, I learned that they also ran a special train with bleachers on flatbed cars that would follow the boats along the river. (No idea if that's true, but that's what the captain told the passengers during our Hudson River cruises.)
True. Also ran a special train way back in the day along the shore of Cayuga when races were two miles.

[www.antiquesportscollector.com]

 
___________________________
Al DeFlorio '65
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: Trotsky (---.washdc.fios.verizon.net)
Date: February 10, 2021 01:29AM

jtwcornell91
dbilmes
This was interesting to read about. It's a great underdog story! Long gone are the days of Sports Illustrated writing stories about collegiate rowing, and CBS news mentiøning it. The Boys in the Boat was a wonderful book about the 1936 Washington crew which won the gold at the Berlin Olympics. In those days, rowing was one of the major spectator sports in the county, with special trains bringing fans up from New York City to watch the major regatta on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.

From my summer job working the snack bar on the M/V Rip Van Winkle, I learned that they also ran a special train with bleachers on flatbed cars that would follow the boats along the river. (No idea if that's true, but that's what the captain told the passengers during our Hudson River cruises.)
There is footage on the intertubes of those trains. They look like Jeeves and Wooster Meets Gold Diggers of 1933. Very, very silly and looks like a lot of fun in a fuck the scullery maid by the lawn jockey sort of way.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/2021 01:38AM by Trotsky.
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: jtwcornell91 (Moderator)
Date: February 10, 2021 09:53AM

Trotsky
jtwcornell91
dbilmes
This was interesting to read about. It's a great underdog story! Long gone are the days of Sports Illustrated writing stories about collegiate rowing, and CBS news mentiøning it. The Boys in the Boat was a wonderful book about the 1936 Washington crew which won the gold at the Berlin Olympics. In those days, rowing was one of the major spectator sports in the county, with special trains bringing fans up from New York City to watch the major regatta on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.

From my summer job working the snack bar on the M/V Rip Van Winkle, I learned that they also ran a special train with bleachers on flatbed cars that would follow the boats along the river. (No idea if that's true, but that's what the captain told the passengers during our Hudson River cruises.)
There is footage on the intertubes of those trains. They look like Jeeves and Wooster Meets Gold Diggers of 1933. Very, very silly and looks like a lot of fun in a fuck the scullery maid by the lawn jockey sort of way.

Complete with a brief shot of the Mid-Hudson Bridge, whose shape is etched into my memory after riding/driving over it to and from school every day for 7 years.

 
___________________________
JTW

Enjoy the latest hockey geek tools at [www.elynah.com]
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: jtwcornell91 (Moderator)
Date: February 10, 2021 09:54AM

Al DeFlorio
jtwcornell91
dbilmes
This was interesting to read about. It's a great underdog story! Long gone are the days of Sports Illustrated writing stories about collegiate rowing, and CBS news mentiøning it. The Boys in the Boat was a wonderful book about the 1936 Washington crew which won the gold at the Berlin Olympics. In those days, rowing was one of the major spectator sports in the county, with special trains bringing fans up from New York City to watch the major regatta on the Hudson River in Poughkeepsie.

From my summer job working the snack bar on the M/V Rip Van Winkle, I learned that they also ran a special train with bleachers on flatbed cars that would follow the boats along the river. (No idea if that's true, but that's what the captain told the passengers during our Hudson River cruises.)
True. Also ran a special train way back in the day along the shore of Cayuga when races were two miles.

[www.antiquesportscollector.com]

Aha, the old Lehigh Valley Railroad before it became a Bar-B-Que restaurant.

 
___________________________
JTW

Enjoy the latest hockey geek tools at [www.elynah.com]
 
Re: 1970-71 Crew Team
Posted by: Scersk '97 (---.hsd1.ct.comcast.net)
Date: February 10, 2021 02:57PM

jtwcornell91
Al DeFlorio
True. Also ran a special train way back in the day along the shore of Cayuga when races were two miles.

[www.antiquesportscollector.com]

Aha, the old Lehigh Valley Railroad before it became a Bar-B-Que restaurant.

Various inflation calculators indicate that those $2 tickets would be roughly $50 today. Seems pretty steep, to me!


Rowing drew thousands of spectators. Observation trains were organized on the Cayuga Lake Railroad (by then part of Lehigh Valley) along the east shore of the lake. These trains ran from 1899 to 1936. Spectators boarded at the Fulton Street rail yards… An engine was hitched at either end of a long series of open cars. For a 1904 Memorial Day race pitting Cornell against Harvard, the crowd was so large they needed 32 train cars. The course had to be lengthened from 2 miles to 5 miles. Of that race, Coach Courtney noted:

"The water would have been in fine condition if the steamboats had not run ahead of the crews and made the water very rough. The observation train of 32 cars and two engines made a beautiful sight. Then added to that all of the large steamers and yachts of all kinds and the hundreds of row boats made one of the grandest sights I ever saw. The race itself did not amount to much as Harvard was no match for Cornell."

from "The Cultural History of Ithaca's Waterfront – An Overview," Friends of Stewart Park
 

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