Memoriam

A Final Toast

When Dad Vail volunteers commit themselves to the Annual Jefferson Dad Vail Regatta. They have chosen to give their precious and limited time to support the sport of rowing and the memory of Dad Vail. The gold jacket Dad Vail volunteers have made the largest of all national crew races possible since 1934. Their commitment and support are greatly appreciated. As one of our ranks crosses his own personal finish line, we take a moment to celebrate and thank these quiet heroes.

And so we salute our fallen comrades and offer this final toast.

Lou McCormick

Dad Vail Regatta Official

Lou McCormick’s rowing career started by watching his hero and cousin Rich O’Brien rowing at the Dad Vail Regatta.  He always called it a “gentleman’s sport”.  In May of 1984 he took his son to see the Dad Vail Regatta for the first time, and it changed their lives forever.

His son went on to row at LaSalle High School, and Lou started volunteering for numerous regattas.  Lou’s brother Dave was also heavily involved, and eventually became a USRA Official.  Before the computer generation, everything at the finish line was done with a watchful eye and a stopwatch.  Lou was thrilled to be asked to help with that “behind the scenes” task, since it gave him an opportunity to witness the thrill of his son crossing the finish line.

For 28 years, Lou was the smiling face that everyone loved to see at the Finish Line Tower covering lane two.  Vail’s weekend was something he looked forward to every year.  He was always the first to arrive at the Tower, to make sure no one stole his coveted seat.  Some of the happiest moments of his life were sitting in that Tower with his son in front of him, and his granddaughters beside him, watching the sport he loved so much.  Your Dad Vail Family misses you.