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Eugene, OR (ISN) – The UVic Vikes rowing fleet ventured to Dexter Reservoir near Eugene, Ore. to take on the Oregon State University (OSU) Beavers in their annual dual meet Mar. 10. The Vikes and Beavers settled for a 4-4 draw.

“This is the longest standing friendly rivalry we race in,” explained Vikes women’s coach Rick Crawley. “I have been (coaching for the Vikes) for 29 years and this event pre-dates my arrival and our other great rivalry, the Brown Cup, against UBC.”

Opening the day was the women’s second team varsity race and the Vikes battled hard throughout the first 1000m against the larger OSU crew. After that, the Beavers’ horsepower and length took over and Oregon raced to a convincing victory in a time of 6:48.7. The Vikes finished in 6:59.32. The OSU crew was also victorious in the novice women’s four.

With the Vikes now trailing by two races, the third battle was left up to the frosh crew.

“This is a historic encounter,” said UVic’s frosh coach Barney Williams. “This is the first time that UVic has had a frosh crew (compared to Oregon), as we have previously had a purely novice boat. There are novice guys in the boat but most have rowed in high school – hence the frosh (classification).”

UVic’s frosh eight finished ahead of OSU in a time of 6:09.82, while the Beavers trailed by a boat length (6:12.44).

In the most anticipated race of the day, the Vikes women’s varsity crew were able to punch their bow out for the win in a time of 6:41.3. OSU finished in 6:42.4 despite both crews rowing a 34-rate through the length of the course in bumpy conditions. The Vikes varsity crew has yet to find success in this event for several years. The victory was well-deserved after both crews seemed to exchange leads with every stroke.

“This was one of those great races,” stated OSU Beavers coach Emily Ford. “…this race was truly close and exciting.”

Looking to break the 2-2 deadlock next was the UVic men’s varsity crew but OSU proved to strong, winning with an eight second lead in a time of 5:58.86. The Vikes finished in 6:06.62.

“They have shown moments of brilliance in training,” said Vikes men’s head coach Howie Campbell post-race. “…they just can’t seem to put it all together in the races yet.”

Turning the tides, though, were the Vikes varsity men’s four, who raced strong against four other OSU crews, pulling away after an initially tight 500m battle. The Vikes finished in a time of 6:50.28 with the next-best OSU crews finishing in 6:58.62 and 6:59.81.

In the women’s varsity four, the Beavers pulled away to win in a time of 7:35.31, while the Vikes, who were doubling up in this event, finished in 7:49.45.

With the day’s race record sitting 4-3 in favour of OSU, it came down to the final race of the day – the novice women’s eights. Led by UVic novice coach Pat Newman, the Vikes were looking to repeat their 2011 victory in this event. Following some trouble lining up in the crosswind, the race finally begun and the Vikes took the early lead. In the first 300m of the 2000m race, UVic advanced almost three-quarters of a boat length ahead of OSU’s first novice eight crew. Unfortunately, Oregon caught a major boat stopping crab, giving the Vikes the open water lead to win by a wide margin in a time of 6:53.00.

The final victory in the novice eights tied the events between the Vikes and OSU Beavers 4-4 and gave UVic the best over-all result at the Oregon State dual meet ever.

The Vikes will now look towards the annual Brown Cup event against the UBC Thunderbirds set for Mar. 24 on the Gorge Waterway.

Men’s results:
Frosh eights: UVic 6:09.82 OSU 6:12.44
Varsity fours: UVic 6:50.28 OSU 6:58.26 OSU 6:59.81
Varsity eights: OSU 5:58.86 UVic 6:06.52

Women’s results:
Novice fours: OSU no time UVic no time verdict easily
Varsity fours: OSU 7:35.31 UVic 7:49.45
Novice eights: UVic 6:53.0 OSU 7:16.46
2V eights: OSU 6:48.7 UVic 6:59.32
Varsity eights: UVic 6:41.3 OSU 6:42.4