What a fantastic weekend in Charlottesville! The weather cooperated—though the football team did not—and everyone had a great time catching up with teammates and friends.
The day began with a 5K run. Our alumni ran with the current varsity squad, along with the novice men and women, local Charlottesville runners, and other UVa students. Bringing a smile to Erich’s face, the race was won by a pure novice, Anthony DeMatteo, who posted a time of 17:13—or an average of 5:33 per mile. Yes!
There were alumni rows at both 8AM and 10AM. In all, two 8s and a 4 got reacquainted with the beautiful Rivanna on a cold, crisp morning. There was a 1974 alumni crew, as well as the 1982 SIRA-winning lightweight crew, and a four made up mostly of class-of-1995 alums. It was amazing to see the motor
memory kick in, with boats moving along easily. Quite a sight.
The football game was, well, Virginia Football.
BUT it was followed by a banquet at the boathouse. Tables were set up in the women’s bay, and more than 100 people enjoyed good food, drink, and company. Mike McGinn shared memories of the 1982 lightweights; Sandy Harris followed with the story of his varsity 4’s trip—and gold medal performance—at the 1972 Head of the Charles (it wasn’t just the competition that the guys had to overcome); and Trennie Walker finished with hysterical anecdotes about Panos Eliades, one of the first VRA coaches.
After the slideshow, Frank revved up the crowd with an auction, with naming rights for the Hudson 4 that will race at this weekend’s Head of the Charles up for grabs. The ’74 classmates made the highest bid, and will name the shell “Todd Tisdale ’74,” after their teammate who passed away in 2007. VRA’s deepest thanks and gratitude go to everyone who contributed monetary support for the team’s operations.
So the precedent has been set! From now on, VRA will hold a full banquet-type weekend every year, not just every other year. Our goal is to foster a seldom-spoken truth: that every VRA alum is a vital member of the Virginia Rowing family. Start making plans now for 2013! FYI, we will hold the alumni weekend on a non-football weekend, and we’ll reserve blocks of hotel rooms in prime locations.
Thanks to everyone who attended and helped make the weekend so memorable!