Sept. 8, 1997
Cal Crew Junior Sebastian Bea Wins World Championship
Cal Crew Junior Sebastian Bea, in only his third season of competitive rowing, teamed with top oarsmen from around the country to win the mens eight event at the World Rowing Championship on Lake Aiguebelette in Savoie, France, September 7. Also sharing the championship with Bea was former Cal coxswain, Peter Cipollone (Cal 94), who adds this world championship to the one he earned in coxed four in 1994. Bea, a stalwart in last springs Cal varsity eight that finished third at the Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship, continued his success throughout a series of selection camps over the summer before earning his seat in the 1997 U.S. eight. The eight raced well all week in France, but, after finishing third in its heat to Romania and Great Britain, and second to Germany in the repechage or second-chance qualifier, were not expected to win the Grand Final.
After the first 500 meters on Sunday, the U.S. trailed Germany and were battling Romania for second place. Over the middle 1000 meters of the course, both the Americans and Romanians, overtook the Germans, but the U.S. trailed Romania going into the final 500 meters. A strong sprint however gave the United States its first world championship since 1994. Bea returns to Berkeley immediately to begin classes, and will certainly be a major player as the Bears, under the tutelage of head coach Steve Gladstone, look to improve upon last seasons third place finish as they gun for a national championship.
Final Results Lake Aiguebelette - Savoie - France 500m 1000m 1500m 2000m 1. United States 1:19.76 2:42.78 4:06.77 5:27.20 2. Romania 1:19.95 2:42.96 4:06.37 5:27.76 3. Australia 1:21.19 2:44.10 4:07.72 5:28.14 4. Great Britain 1:20.46 2:44.35 4:09.82 5:29.78 5. Germany 1:18.93 2:42.52 4:07.43 5:30.59 6. Russia 1:19.14 2:43.36 4:08.11 5:30.84