“Ready All.” “Row!” would have been heard over thirty-five times by now, beginning at 7:00 AM, this morning, right on schedule, starting with pair racing at the 82nd Annual Dad Vail Regatta. Dad Vail Coaches, on fifteen speed bikes, with stroke watches in hand, would be excitingly and nervously jockeying for position up at the starting line, on the bike path and some Gold Jacketed Officials would be huddled quietly around John Musial, Chief Referee, who would be inspecting starting line procedures, cigar in hand.
Dress apparel, conditioned by a weather forecast predicting rain all day would have called for a slicker and extra layers, and an extra set of dry socks, but the camaraderie of your colleague volunteers, and annual reunions of rowers past and reconnecting even with current Board members who traveled from the far reaches of the USA would have provided all of the social warmth one might expect!
Picture golf cart traffic ducking around slowing moving autos on Kelly Drive, maneuvering occasionally around a late arriving trailer fully loaded with sixty-foot eights. Imagine the cooler breeze preceding the rain and visualize the 120 feet of new Poralu dock undulating off the seawall at Rowers’ Village, getting an extra kick from a overly ambitious launch driver, and the beehive of activity as athletes juggle oars and sneakers while shedding sweats tossed to coaches, as each rower responds to the coxswains command and places “ one foot in.”
Today, I tip my hat to all of you, on behalf of our entire Board of Directors, for your past service, which has given rise to my own treasured memories of past Dad Vail Regattas, and thought it altogether appropriate to reach out to you this morning, on a day which would otherwise be spent right beside, or out upon, our beloved Schuylkill River to say thank you for the memories.
Dad Vail Regatta Organizing Committee