BEREKLEY -- No. 2 California men's crew faces No. 11 Stanford in the 81st annual Big Row at Redwood Shores on Saturday. The Golden Bears look to retain the Schwabacher Cup with a win in the varsity eight race for the 22nd time in the last 24 years. Both the men’s and women’s crews will race in honor of Jill Costello, a former coxswain for the women’s team who passed away shortly after the 2010 season.
“The most important thing about the weekend is that this is the race we dedicate to Jill Costello,” head coach Mike Teti said. “Really, that’s what that race is all about. It’s about having a great performance and dedicating it to Jill, so we hope to do that.”
The schedule is set to begin at 9:30 a.m., with both the men’s and women’s teams competing against the Cardinal. The women’s fourth varsity eight opens the day for the Bears, racing against Stanford’s lightweight second varsity eight at 9:30 a.m. Following at 9:40 a.m., the women’s third varsity eight races Stanford’s lightweight varsity eight, with the women’s second varsity four race following at 9:50 a.m. The women’s varsity four race is set for 10:00 a.m., with the men’s freshman eight beginning at 10:10 a.m. At 10:20 a.m. the women’s second varsity eight will race, with the men’s second varsity eight following at 10:30 a.m. The battle for the Lambert Cup in the women’s varsity eight is set to begin at 10:40 a.m., with the men’s varsity eight racing for the Schwabacher Cup at 10:50 a.m. Following the morning of racing between the Bears and the Cardinal, there will be a trophy presentation at 11:30 a.m.
Cal fans should note that if weather conditions warrant, officials may reverse the order and start races as early as 9:00 a.m. You can stay up to date with the scheduling and follow the action with live, in-race updates using the Golden Bears' official Twitter handle @CaliforniaCrew.
“With finals coming up and papers due, it’s been a pretty challenging week for our kids,” Teti said. “But we’ve had a solid week of practice and we’re looking forward to the race on Saturday.”
Since 1902, Cal leads the all-time series in the Schwabacher Cup, 61-19, and the Bears have won 21 of the last 23 meetings. Since 1980, the Cardinal has only won four times (1988, 1990, 2008, 2013).
“Dan Gordon, one of our alums who’s a supporter of both programs - Stanford and Cal, will be there with a hospitality tent,” Teti said. “It’s always great to have him there and we appreciate his support for our athletes.”
In the Big Row last year, the Bears captured two of the three races against the Cardinal. Cal won the second varsity eight, finishing in 5:45.4 to Stanford’s 5:55.9. The Bears had two boats in the freshman eight, placing first (5:46.5) and second (5:56.4) ahead of third-place Stanford (6:09.0). Stanford’s varsity eight claimed the Schwabacher Cup, finishing in 5:31.2 to Cal’s 5:32.7.
Last weekend in a battle between the nation’s top-two ranked men’s crews, No. 2 Washington took three of four races from the Bears at the 103rd annual meeting. The Huskies claimed victories in the varsity eight, second varsity eight and novice eight, while Cal won the varsity four.
Following Saturday's Big Row at Redwood Shores, the Bears will race again on Saturday May 17 in the Pacific Coast Rowing Championships in Lake Natoma, Calif.
Saturday’s Tentative Schedule
8:00 - Coach/coxswain meeting
9:30 - Cal Women's 4V8 vs. Stanford Lightweight 2V8
9:40 - Cal Women's 3V8 vs. Stanford Lightweight V8
9:50 - Women's 2V4
10:00 - Women's V4
10:10 - Men's Frosh 8
10:20 - Women's 2V8
10:30 - Men's 2V8
10:40 - Women's V8
10:50 - Men's V8
11:30 - Trophy presentations