Dragons Dominate at 85th Annual Dad Vail Regatta | The Triangle

Dragons Dominate at 85th Annual Dad Vail Regatta

Photo Courtesy of Chad Cooper

The Drexel Dragons men’s and women’s rowing teams combined to take home the overall points championship on the Cooper River at the 85th Annual Dad Vail Regatta. Following a lengthy day with overcast, windy, weather for Friday’s time-trials, Saturday’s sunny skies and clear water were the perfect setting for a fantastic Drexel performance on May 10 and 11.

The Dad Vail Regatta has long been a historic and well-respected regatta, and holds the title of the largest intercollegiate rowing event in the United States. The event, which was hosted on the Schuylkill river from the event’s inaugural year until last year, when the regatta was moved to the Cooper River. The regatta has truly expanded since its origins, now hosting over one hundred universities, and para rowing, alumni, and skullying events. 

The results of last weekend’s event, continued the Dragons dominance at the Regatta. The Men’s rowing team took home the men’s title for the third consecutive year, as well as their top varsity boat winning the MV8+ final race for the third straight year as well, a feat not accomplished in twenty-three years. The top varsity boat features a mix of veteran rowers (Nikola Loncar, Damian Lis, Josh Diggons, Jack Anderson, James Schmidt and John Little) all of which who are fifth years or seniors, as well as some younger rowers, Andrew Manns (junior), Andrei Malis (sophomore), and the coxswain, Chloe Minicucci. The top varsity boat finished with a 5:52.474 time, beating out Philly rivals La Salle and Temple. 

The Men’s V8+ wasn’t the only boat to win their race, as the Men’s 3rd varsity, mens varsity 4 man boat, and the women’s varsity boat all took home gold in their respective races. For the women’s V8+ boat, their win comes as the third in program history, with their first victory in 2017, and their second in 2021, the last time they competed at the Regatta. The boat also earned the special recognition as the CAA Conference’s boat of the week, a big honor as they get set to row at the CAA Championship May 17 and 18, which is once again set on the Cooper River. 

For the men, the next time in action will be at the IRA Nationals, from May 31 – June 2 on Lake Mercer in Princeton, New Jersey. The Intercollegiate Rowing Association National Championship is the oldest college rowing championship in the U.S, and a big honor for the Dragons to compete at. Drexel’s top varsity 8+ boat currently ranks 16th in the nation per row2k among participating schools in the IRA. 

It was a day full of positive energy, excitement and confidence for the Dragons. The program’s development over the past few years has been extremely noteworthy, and now places them as the top school at the Regatta. Taking home an overall points championship, men’s overall title, and top men’s and women’s varsity boats is a strong reflection of this, and a sign for continued greatness for the program.