Jul 19 2009
The Western Washington University Men’s Crew team has been a distinguished and successful collegiate rowing program in the northwest for over forty years. Western men row from September to May in preparation for the spring sprint racing season. Each year we aim to field Novice, JV and Varsity 8′s and 4′s in a numer of regional regattas, sending the most competitive crews to championship competitions. We race in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference (NCRC), Wesern Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA), and American Collegiate Rowing Association (ACRA).
NCRC is comprised of seven NCAA Division II and Division III member Schools. These include Humboldt State University, Lewis & Clark College, Pacific Lutheran University, Seattle Pacific University, University of Puget Sound, Western Washington University, and Willamette University. The Conference Championship is held in late April, the weekend before the WIRA regatta, at various locations around the Northwest, and is the precursor to advancing to the WIRA Championships.
WIRA is a western regional organization that includes approximately 28 rowing programs at all division levels representing colleges and universities in four western states. WIRA includes almost all non Pac-10 institutions with rowing programs in the west. The WIRA Championships are in late April or early May and are held at Lake Natoma near Sacramento.
ACRA is the newly formed organization for all collegiate club rowing teams in the country. It was created after the 2008 decision to exclude club teams from competing at the IRA (Intercollegiate Rowing Association) national championship regatta. The conference has nearly 200 member schools, which includes such powerhouse crews as Michigan, Purdue, Penn State, UCLA, and UC Davis. The Vikings plan to take as many competitive boats as possible to this national championship, which takes place at the end of May.
Fall Racing Season: Rowing competition in fall is focused on head racing. These races are around 5000 meters and are slower, more endurance based courses. A head race can be compared to running a cross country race, where the 2000 meter sprint racing would be more like running a 400m sprint. Head races involve turns and can be more of a scenic row, while generally taking place in the rough water fall brings. Given that the team will only have a month or so of practice before racing, head racing is a great way to access speed and provide an early season training goal.
Spring Racing Season: This is the true competitive season in college rowing. Standard race format is 2000 meters. We will compete in a number of regattas around the Pacific Northwest, culminating in the Northwest Collegiate Rowing Conference (NCRC) Championship. Regional west coast racing ends with the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association (WIRA) Championships, which are held at Lake Natoma in Sacremento CA. If the team fields boats that meet the pre-set time standards, those boats will be sent to the ACRA national championship regatta.