SIRA Championships

Oak Ridge, Tennessee

The team made the trip out to gorgeous Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to throw down with some fast crews from all around the southeast. After a nice, long paddle down the course on Friday afternoon and an Italian meal of epic proportions, the Irish got a good night’s rest before racing began on Saturday morning.

This year, the team raced eight boats, the 1V8, 2V8, 1N8, 2N8, 1N4, 2x, 1x, and the 3V8, also racing in the 2V8 category. All boats moved on past time trials in the morning, with the 2N8, 2x, and 1x moving directly on to their grand finals on Sunday. Saturday afternoon consisted of semi-finals, where the Irish shined once again, putting the 2V8 and 1N8 in grand finals as well, the 1V8 and 3V8 in petites, and the 1N4 in C finals. The Irish then retired to a wonderful homemade dinner hosted by some alumni in preparation for the following day’s finals.

On Sunday, varsity racing dawned with Seth Tautges, C/O 2019, finishing 5th in the 1x category. The 2x finished 6th overall and in their final. The 3V8 fought hard and placed 2nd in their petite final, a strong 8th place finish overall in the 2V8 category. The 2V8 finished 4th in the same category with a fast last race of the regatta. Finally, coming off an emotional semi-final the day before, the 1V8 left it all out on the course and won their petite final, placing 7th overall.

The novice squad raced to unprecedented success on Sunday. The 2N8 topped last year’s second place finish in the same boat with absolute domination in their grand final. The 1N8 fought for every inch down the course and finished 2nd overall, the highest finish Notre Dame has seen in that category at this regatta ever. This SIRA was also the first in a very long time where the squad put out a 1N4, who finished strong at 3rd in their C final.

Big shoutout to all parents and alumni who came out and showed their support this weekend! The team will be heading to Cincinnati this coming weekend for MACRA, we hope to see many of you there!

The future is shining bright for Notre Dame Men’s Rowing. R’Irish!

Marietta and Grand Valley Duels

Marietta, OH

The team travelled out to Marietta, OH for the first race of spring season this weekend. The morning started off strong with the 1V8 taking on Marietta head to head and crossing the finish line with a definitive lead. The 2V8 followed suit and won its three boat race against Marietta and the Notre Dame 3V8.

The 1N8 and 2N8 took on Grand Valley to start off the day. The Notre Dame 1N8 crossed the line first, followed by the Notre Dame 2N8 in second, and the Grand Valley novice eight in third.

The afternoon went just as successfully. The 1N8 left it all on the water and won against Marietta. The 1V8 fought hard against Grand Valley and won their second duel of the day. To close out the afternoon, the 2V8 and 3V8 both beat Grand Valley.

Overall, a clean sweep for the Irish! Special thanks to all the parents, friends, and fans that came out to support the team!


Bald Eagle Collegiate Invitational Update

Indianapolis, IN

To close out the fall racing season, the team woke up early and made the trip out to Indianapolis, IN for this year's Bald Eagle Collegiate Invitational. The morning began with the Men's Novice 8+  A and B races. The Notre Dame 1N8 started off the morning right by bringing home some hardware. The 1N8 took 3rd place just behind Wisconsin and Virginia. The 2N8 also raced hard and came in 4th, close behind Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia.

Later in the morning, the Irish launched four entries for the Men's Pair event and three more for the Varsity Men's 4+. The NDRC A pair brought home a 7th place finish and the others weren't far behind. In the  4+'s, the A boat brought home another bronze medal only three seconds behind Michigan. The Notre Dame B and C boats were also in the top five fastest boats of their respective categories.

The Notre Dame novice squad raced again in the afternoon sending out a Men's Novice 8+ C boat and two entries in the Men's Novice 4+ event. The 3N8 raced hard and placed 7th in their event. In the 4+ event, the NDRC B boat took 4th and the A 4+ took 7th out of a total of 24 entries in the event.

To finish up the day, the Irish entered five boats in the Varsity 8+ event. The 1V8 had tough competition from Wisconsin and Virginia and took a 5th place finish. The 2V8 and 3V8 both closed out the day with 3rd place finishes and some more medals. The 4V8 also raced well and finished just behind Michigan. The 1N8 entered the varsity event as well and crossed the finish line close behind the Purdue 4V8 finishing out the season strong.

Big thanks to Purdue for hosting and to all of the parents who came out to support the team!


53rd Head of the Charles Update

Boston, MA

The team flew out to Boston early Friday morning for the 53rd Head of the Charles Regatta. After rigging up the boats and taking a quick practice lap down the course the Irish headed back to the hotel before the Alumni race on Saturday and two Collegiate races on Sunday.

This year, ND alumni got together to race a 4+ at the Charles. The crew was coxed by the team's very own head coach, Michael Lehmann, and raced hard to a 31st place finish.

On Sunday, the Irish started off the day in the Men's Collegiate 8+ event. In the first time in a few years that ND has entered an eight at the Charles the team moved up from bow number 33 to a 13th place finish. The Irish ended the day with the Men's Collegiate 4+ where the crew took a 17th place finish out of 41 boats. Both crews finished in the top half of their event which means the Irish will be returning to the Charles to race again next year.


Head of the Rock Update

Rockford, IL

The team got up early this Sunday to make the trip out to Rockford, IL. The morning got off to a great start with the Men's Pair taking first in their event. Later in the day the Irish also put out boats in the Men's Open 4+, the Men's Collegiate 4+, and the Men's Collegiate Novice 8+ events. Of those boats, the Notre Dame Men's Open 4+ also took first in their event and the 1st Novice 8+ came back with a bronze medal.

The team launched its doubles later in the afternoon. Two of the three boats came back with medals from the Men's Open 2x event. The Irish raced hard and came back with a silver and a bronze.

The day ended with the Men's Collegiate 8+ and Men's Open 8+ events. The 1st Varsity 8+ took third in its event just a second behind Purdue. The 1st Novice 8+ also brought home another bronze medal in the Open 8+ race.

Special thanks to the Notre Dame Club of Rockford and all the friends and family of Notre Dame Rowing that came out to support!


ACRA Championships Update

Gainesville, Georgia

The team faced some tough competition at this year's ACRA championships. In the V4 the team took 4th just behind Minnesota sending them to reps later that evening. In their second race of the day the V4 pulled hard for a 3rd place finish. Due to thunderstorms that started Saturday evening and carried on into Sunday morning the V4's final race was cancelled. The V2x placed 2nd in their heat allowing them to move directly to A finals on Sunday where they came in 7th, close behind Chicago.

The two novice boats left it all on the water over the course of the weekend. The 2N8 raced for lanes on Saturday where they took a clear first place. The 1N8 qualified for B finals after a third place finish behind Virginia in the morning's heat and coming in 0.3 seconds behind Georgia in reps. On Sunday the 2N8 brought home some hardware pulling a third place finish in A finals. The 1N8 came in 2nd just a second behind UCLA.

The 2V8 took 3rd in the morning heat which led to another boat sent to reps. Later that evening, the boat took 2nd in its race which qualified them for B finals where they ultimately took 1st pulling away from UC Davis.

The 1V8 had a total of 4 races over the course of the weekend. After a time trial in less than ideal racing conditions the 1V8 took 10th and moved on to reps later that day. In reps the boat came in 1st with an almost 4 second lead over Minnesota. On Sunday morning the 1V8 was headed semis where a 5th place finish, less than a second behind Delaware, sent the team to B finals. In its last race of the regatta the 1V8 fought hard for a 6th place finish, 0.2 seconds behind UC Davis. Overall the weekend left the team ready for a summer of training hard and getting faster for next year's season.

Special thanks to all of the parents and friends that came out to support the team over the course of the regatta. We hope to see you in the fall!


SIRA Championships Update

Oak Ridge, TN

The Team traveled down to Melton Lake in Tennessee early on Thursday morning to do some practice laps on the course in preparation for Friday and Saturday racing. The Irish sent six boats to SIRAs: 1V8, 2V8, V4, 2x, 1N8, and 2N8. Friday consisted of time trials to determine which boats went to semifinals and which did not. The 1V8, 2V8, V4, and 1N8 qualified for semifinals, and the 2x and 2N8 qualified for their grand finals. Saturday morning began with the semifinals. The 1N8 qualified for petites, and the 2V8 inched out North Carolina to make grands. The 1V8 and V4 both qualified for their petite finals. In the afternoon, the 2x fought hard to a 5th place finish their grand final, the 1N8 placed 2nd in their petite final, the 2V8 placed 6th in their grand final, the V4 placed second in their petite final, and the 1V8 placed 3rd in their petite final. The highlight of the day was the 2N8 coming in 2nd in their grand final, bringing home some hardware. 

All in all, it was a weekend of learning and experience for the Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team. The Team looks to continue training and getting faster in preparation for MACRAs on April 30th in east Cincinnati.

Special thanks to all parents and friends that came out to support us this past weekend! We hope to see you all at our coming regattas.


San Diego Crew Classic 2017 Update

San Diego, CA

The Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team made its annual trip to San Diego for the Crew Classic this past weekend, but this trip was different in regards to all previous San Diego trips--this was a business trip for both boats. The 1V8 and 2V8 were the two boats that made the trip. We arrived in San Diego on Friday for a few practice runs on the bay, and the night consisted of boat meetings, relaxation, and homework. The 1V8 raced first on Saturday morning and placed second, qualifying for Sunday's grand final just behind the University of British Columbia. The 2V8 raced later and placed fourth in their heat, qualifying for the petite final.

On Sunday, the 2V8 placed fourth in their petite final, beating UCLA and Orange Coast College and finishing just behind ACRA-rival UC Santa Barbara. The 1V8 raced a few hours later in a close grand final. Also in their grand final were Grand Valley State and Orange Coast College, two teams that routinely make the grand final at ACRAs. The Irish emptied their tanks and placed fourth in the grand final, just two-tenths of a second behind third-place UC San Diego. The 1V8 beat all other club teams in the competition, including GVSU and OCC. 

Up to this point in the season, the 1V8 has beaten four out of the eight teams that made the grand final last year at ACRAs. The Team returns to South Bend to continue working towards our goal: improving our ACRA finishes from last year.

The Team is exceptionally grateful to all parents and friends of the team that were able to provide food, drinks, and encouragement over the weekend! It was moving to see the selflessness and generosity emitted by the Notre Dame Family in San Diego. Special thanks to the Notre Dame Club of San Diego for providing a tent and food along the race course!

The Fighting Irish continue their 2017 campaign on April 14th at SIRAs in Oak Ridge, TN. 


Tri-Dual Against Purdue, Marietta, and Cincinnati Results

Indianapolis, IN

The Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team arrived in Indianapolis on Friday night to prepare for the first sprint race of the spring season.  The Team competed all day Saturday against quality ACRA competition--Cincinnati and Purdue both qualified for the Grand Final at ACRA in 2016. 

Saturday was refreshingly warm, but provided a stiff headwind down the course. The original schedule planned three races for each boat, but was soon abbreviated to two races per boat to account for the increasing wind. Highlights from the day included the 1V8 winning the 1V8 category (def. Purdue, Marietta, Cincinnati), the 2V8 winning the 2V8 category, and the 1N8 and 2N8 beating Cincinnati. 

The success from this past weekend is indicative of the speed present in the Irish boats this year. The Irish look to continue this theme of success at the San Diego Crew Classic this weekend and then in Oak Ridge, TN at SIRAs on April 14th & 15th.

Special thanks to all parents and friends of Notre Dame Men's Rowing who were able to be at the race this past weekend! We hope to see you at more races throughout the spring.


The Coach Kurt Butler

On Saturday, February 11th, the current team and family and friends of Coach Kurt Butler gathered at the McConnell Family Boathouse for a surprise dedication in his honor; the team recently purchased a Vespoli VHP 8+ to be named the "Coach Kurt Butler". Gathered around the new boat, past rowers who had been coached by Kurt Butler recounted countless memories, speaking of Butler's fiery passion, his commitment to the development of the whole individual, and his love of Notre Dame Rowing. 

Kurt Butler coached the Notre Dame Men's Rowing Team from Fall 2001 to Spring 2012; under his leadership, the V8, 2V8, N8, and 2N8 medalled at the ACRA National Championship Regatta. Most importantly, Coach Butler was able to grow the team immensely--his final year of coaching at Notre Dame featured four eights. 

From the perspective of someone who had never met Coach Butler prior to Saturday's dedication, it was remarkable to witness how many lives Coach Butler impacted. From the stories of his past rowers, it was evident that he was much more than just a coach to an extraordinary amount of people. It was an honor for the team to be able to name our new shell after such an outstanding individual. 

The Coach Kurt Butler 

The Coach Kurt Butler 

From left to right, Matt DiDonato ('17), Marcus Fennessy ('18), Coach Kurt Butler, Coach Mike Lehmann, Coach Nick Springer, Coach Zach Stackhouse, and Bill Bloebaum ('17)

From left to right, Matt DiDonato ('17), Marcus Fennessy ('18), Coach Kurt Butler, Coach Mike Lehmann, Coach Nick Springer, Coach Zach Stackhouse, and Bill Bloebaum ('17)