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NavyLights74-78 Reunion V

On 22-24 April 2016 NavyLights74-78 rowers from the classes of 1974 - 1978 met for their fifth reunion!

L-R: Steve Hall '75, Coach Jon VanAmringe, Steve Nimitz '76, Keith Weaver '76 (Photo Courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Vince Balderrama ’78, Steve Hall ’75, Steve Nimitz ’76, Susan and Keith Weaver ’76, and Coach Jon VanAmringe (Coach, ‘74—‘76) gathered for a weekend of reminisces, and although attendance was light, spirit was high! as NavyLights crews won four of five races on the day against Harvard and Delaware, and Navy brought the Haines Trophy back to Hubbard for the first time since 2008. Following is the “stroke-by-stroke”  race day summary of all five races.

Race Day Audio Summary

The actual audio is available here: Race Day Audio. Click “On Demand” and then click on the “NAVY LIGHTWEIGHT ROWING VS. HARVARD” audio icon. [And, don’t be alarmed, nothing is wrong with your machine, there is a lot of dead time at the start and between races].

Water conditions were reported as “one of the best days of water on the Severn”!  For much of the racing there was a 4-8 mph quartering tailwind and an outgoing tide.

1V: Navy in lane 1 (furthest from the seawall), Harvard in middle lane 2, and Delaware in lane 3
At the start: Delaware takes a 1-seat lead with Navy and Harvard bow balls even
At 250 meters: Navy at 41, Delaware at 40, and Harvard at 37 with Navy holding a 4-seat lead over Harvard and Delaware 4-seats down on Harvard
At 500 meters: all crews rowing about 38 with Navy one-half length up on Harvard and Delaware two seats down on Harvard
At 1000 meters: Navy leads but Harvard is creeping and Navy’s lead is now 3-seats; Delaware’s bow is on Harvard’s stern; Navy and Harvard both at 38
At 1500 meters: Navy has a 3-4 seat lead over Harvard with Harvard open water on Delaware; Navy and Harvard matching each other stroke-for-stroke at 39
At 1600 meters: Navy has a 2-seat lead but Harvard is marching
At 1900 meters: Navy has a 1-seat lead but it looks like Harvard is running out of time
Too close to call at the finish!
Navy wins!
Navy 5:47.4

Harvard 5:48.5
Delaware 5:54.5

2V: Delaware in lane 1, Harvard in middle lane 2, Navy in lane 3
At the start: Navy at 46, Harvard at 45, Delaware at 43; Navy has a 2-3 seat lead with Harvard and Delaware even
At 250 meter: Navy leads with 3-seats on Harvard and Harvard leads by a deck over Delaware; Navy settles to 36
At 500 meters: Delaware fading, Harvard’s bow is on Navy’s 6-seat, Delaware’s bow is on Harvard’s stroke
At 1000 meters: Harvard makes a push taking 2-seats on Navy and Harvard’s bow is on Navy’s 4-seat; Navy rowing 34, Harvard at 36
At 1200 meters: Navy leads Harvard but Harvard’s bow is now at Navy’s 3-seat; Delaware is falling back over a length behind Harvard
At 1500 meters: Harvard and Navy are even
At 1600 meters: Harvard and Navy rowing stroke-for-stroke
At 1750 meters: Harvard has a 2-seat lead; Harvard and Navy make a final push
Harvard wins
Harvard 5:50.2
Navy 5:51.6
Delaware 6:05.2

3V: Navy in lane 1, Delaware in middle lane 2, Harvard in lane 3
Wind picking-up, still flat water
At the start: Delaware and Harvard rowing at 45, Navy rowing at 43
At 250 meters: Harvard up 4-seats on Navy , Navy up 1-seat on Delaware; Navy rowing 37
At 500 meters: Navy at 37; Harvard now 1-deck down on Navy; Delaware back by open water
At 1000 meters: Navy takes 2-seats on Harvard and is now up by 4-seats; Navy at 36, Harvard at 37, Delaware at 36
At 1200 meters: Navy holds a half-length lead on Harvard
At 1500 meters: Harvard’s bow is at Navy’s 7-seat
At 1600 meters: Navy at 35, Harvard at 36; Harvard takes back 1- seat from Navy
At 1750 meters: Navy 4-seats up; Harvard makes a push; Navy at 37, Harvard at 38 – Harvard marching!
At 1900 meters: Harvard and Navy are even; Navy makes a final surge with a strong final 10-strokes and moves up by a bow deck
Navy wins!
Navy 5:57.6

Harvard 5:58.5
Delaware 6:17.9

4V: Delaware in lane 1, Harvard in middle lane 2, Navy in lane 3
Wind picking-up, water getting choppy
At the start: Navy takes 2-seats on the other two crews; Navy rowing 41 with Harvard at 40 and Delaware at 38
At 250 meters: Navy leads
At 500 meters: Navy at 38; Navy is a half-length up on Delaware, Delaware is a third-length up on Harvard
At 1000 meters: Navy at 36 and one and one-half lengths open water over Delaware
At 1200 meters: Navy maintains lead and is rowing at 37
At 1500 meters: Navy leads with 2-lengths over Delaware; Delaware rowing at 36
At 1600 meters: Navy maintains lead
At 1750 meters: Navy maintains lead
At 1900 meters : Navy at 43 and up 2-lengths over Delaware; Delaware up 1-length over Harvard
Navy wins!
Navy 5:54.8

Delaware 6:04.9
Harvard 6:15.7

5V and 6V: Navy6V in lane 0, Navy5V in lane 1, Harvard in middle lane 2, Delaware in lane 3
Wind calming, water choppy
At the start: All 5Vs even with Navy6V back
At 250 meters: Navy5V up a deck on Harvard; Navy6V and Delaware 3-seats back of Harvard with Navy6V holding a slight lead over Delaware
At 500 meters: Navy5V 4-seats up on Harvard; Harvard 4-seats up on Navy6V; Navy6V 3-seats up on Delaware
At 1000 meters: Navy5V rowing 36 with two-third length lead over Harvard; Navy6V’s bow on Harvard’s stern; Delaware’s bow on Navy6V’s stern
At 1200 meters: Navy5V continues to lead; Harvard’s bow at Navy5V’s stern
At 1500 meters: Navy6V inching up on Harvard; Delaware falling back one-half length open water to Navy6V
At 1600 meters: Delaware falls back one length open water to Navy6V
At 1750 meters: Navy5V has a deck open water on Harvard; Harvard has a deck open water on Navy6V
At 1900 meters: Navy one-half length open water over Harvard
Navy wins!
Navy 6:00.3

Harvard 6:06.5
Navy 6V 6:08.5 (Exhibition)
Delaware 6:21.8

When Two or Three Shall Meet

The reunion kicked-off with a Friday evening dinner at Middleton Tavern in downtown Annapolis. Keith Weaver '76 was joined by his wife, Susan, who brought class to an otherwise group of wild and crazy guys!

L-R: Steve Hall '75, Coach Jon VanAmringe, Steve Nimitz '76, Susan Weaver (Photo Courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Race Day on Hospital Point

On race day our 4- and coach met to cheer on Navy at the finish.

L-R: Keith Weaver '76, Coach Jon VanAmringe, Steve Hall '75, Steve Nimitz '76 (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Coach Jon VanAmringe and Steve Hall '75 (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Coach Jon VanAmringe and Steve Nimitz '76 (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Do the following photos bring back memories? The foot bridge is still the same but Hospital Point -- Whoa! -- not so much! For those who may be wondering, the obstacle courses [plural!] are now located on the other side of the Severn aboard Naval Support Activity Annapolis.

Dorsey Creek foot bridge (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Hospital Point (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Post Race -- Back at Hubbard

Hubbard Hall (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Hubbard Hall boat bay (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Following the morning's races everyone gathered at Mother Hubbard where there was some relaxing in the King Room followed by a gathering with coaches, crews, and parents. NavyLights74-78 sponsored the NavyLights Parents food tent at Hubbard.

Relaxing in the King Room L-R: Coach Jon VanAmringe, Keith Weaver '76, Steve Nimitz '76, Steve Hall '75 (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

From all reports the interaction between coaches, rowers, parents, and NavyLights74-78 alumni present on the day made this a really memorable weekend. A note from Mary Haber, mother of 1V 4-oar Sam Haber '18, says it all.

Mary writes:
On behalf of all of the parents of the N150's, we would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to you and your crew mates, and Coach VanAmringe, not only for sponsoring our food tent after the race, but also for your company and wonderful stories and insight into the history of your team and what it was like to row for the USNA and train and compete back in the '70's. It was a pleasure watching the "present day" oarsmen mingling with the "oarsmen of the past". We parents also learned a thing or two that we did not know about the history of lightweight crew at USNA. The kids were genuinely excited that you guys were there and made the effort to travel many miles to watch and cheer them on to their victories over Harvard. I'm sure it will be something that they will always remember and take with them as they move on with their futures in the Navy and beyond. What a truly wonderful day all-around, and we hope you guys enjoyed yourselves also. Hopefully, what went on Saturday will spur these Mids onto realizing how important it is to still "keep connected" to each other as a team well beyond the short 4 years that they are at the USNA.

Once again, thanks to you and the NavyLights of '74-'78 for your generosity, company, and inspiration not only towards our Mids but towards us parents as well. It was genuinely a unique experience for all of us.

Take care and we look forward to seeing you and your crew mates at the Eastern Sprints,


Crews gather on the apron (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

When Oars were Wood and Men were Iron

And, nostalgia was a part of the weekend, too, as well it should be at a reunion!

Mounted in the King Room are Oars of Yore.

Square oars from The Great Eight (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Two spoons and a hatchet (Photo courtesy of Keith Weaver)

Square or spoon or hatchet -- that is the question!

Technology may change but rowing is still that Blessed Rule o' Three -- the oars, the men, and the boat!

Steve Nimitz '76 also brought along a bit of rowing history that he passed on to our Yale rowing friends with hope that it will add to the historical collection of amateur rowing memorabilia in the Mystic Seaport Museum.

New York Journal, 24 June 1898 edition: regarding the 23 June 1898 3-mile Yale-Harvard-Cornell race in New London (Photo courtesy of Steve Nimitz)

Steve reports:
"About two years ago while walking through an estate sale at a neighborhood home in Virginia Beach, I found a stack of New York Journal newspapers from the spring and summer of 1898 chronicling the lead up to the Spanish-American War and the famous battles at Manila and Santiago. The Journal was the William Randolph Hearst paper that historians accuse of beating the war drum to the extent that war with Spain became inevitable. They are a fascinating read. Stories were written and dispatched by boat. Sketch artists accompanied forces afloat and ashore to capture every angle. While turning the pages of the June 24, 1898 edition, I found a double page spread about the prior day's 3 mile Yale, Harvard, Cornell race at New London (won by Cornell by four lengths over Yale). The banner in the top right notes that Harvard was "hopelessly last." I looked at the prior day's paper and indeed there was an article written to anticipate the race. So, this event was a huge deal. I have many other papers from that spring and summer, so maybe I will find more good stuff to share. I was happy to pass it on to my Yale friends with hope that it will add to their historical collection of amateur rowing memorabilia."

Thanks Steve!

Far Away but There in Spirit

Although this year only a few of we happy few  were able to gather together in Annapolis -- many tuned-in and listened to the live race reports! Our Phil Kumpis '76 was moved to find some rowing photos from days long past, which he shares below.

How many still have their shirts? How many still fit?!?

Shirt Collection (Photo courtesy of Phil Kumpis)

And, when boats were wood and men were iron...hmmm, can you pick-out the former lightweight rower and the former coxswain? This 4- was training for a race on the Potomac. Phil and George were TAD to the Naval Academy before joining their TBS class in Quantico.

Summer o' '76 L-R: Matt Clarke '76, Phil Kumpis '76, Coach Rick Clothier, George Wheeler '76, Bill Byrd (Washington '72) (Photo courtesy of Phil Kumpis)

NavyLights74-78 Reunion VI

And, this brings NavyLights74-78 Reunion V to a close. But, please start making plans and blocking your calendars now for Reunion VI tentatively scheduled 20-22 April 2018 on the Navy-Harvard racing weekend in Annapolis!

Let 'er run!