Mens Rowing National Championship Regatta Primer

This weekend (the week of May 24th), the Boys of Syracuse Rowing are ranked #3 in the country and racing at the IRA Regatta (the national championship) this weekend, races will be streamed on youtube links below.

Team Preparation:

Typically the team has a few weeks after classes to prepare for the regatta, this year as a part of the University’s post-holiday Covid spike in January, they pushed the start of the term back 3 weeks. That means the boys just finished exams and graduation and had only 3 days of "IRA Camp" prior to heading down New Jersey for the start of racing. IRA camp is a legendary tradition in the history of Syracuse Rowing for helping our crews gain crucial speed before the regatta.

Racing the Unknown:

This has been a patchwork but successful season for the sport of rowing as a whole, with a number of schools entering competition at different times making it tough to gage where traditional powerhouses that entered late in the season are ranked.

According to head coach Dave Reischman "Earlier in the year there was a lot of concern that the field for the IRA would be quite small. The opposite has proven to be true. There will be 32 varsity eights entered in the IRA along with 27 JV’s and various other boats. Perhaps the biggest surprise is that there will be 5 schools from the Ivy League competing. The Ivy League Presidents changed their earlier proclamation against competing in league or national championship races and decided to leave it up to individual schools."

The Championship has instituted a number of changes this year, all of which are a result of how Covid-19 changed the season, such as;

  • Time trials will replace heats in events previously required heats, with the time trials advancing directly to semi finals;
    • Other regattas have used time trials to seed the racing for years, but this is the first time in the modern iteration of the event it has been used for the eights at the IRA.
  • Seeding for events will be based on the final coaches poll and affect the starting order of time trials only;
  • Facilitated by the switch to time trials, the regatta will have the largest field of Varsity eights (32 in total) in its 120+ year history.
  • In an effort to reduce Covid testing expenses and lessen potential Covid exposures, the event has been compressed to one and a half days, this means less time for teams to recover than they traditionally had and may result in some wild card outcomes.


Friday, May 28
8 AM: Time Trials
  • start order based on seeding – SU crews are all seeded third
  • crews start 2k at 30 second intervals
  • finishing times determine seeding for semi-finals
3:00 PM: Semi-finals
  • Top 18 crews race in in A, B, C level semi; top 2 to Grands, 3 and 4 to Petites, 5 and 6 to 3rd-level finals
  • SU schedule to be known after results of Time Trial
Saturday, May 29

  • dsfdsfsdf begin with V4 3rd level at 8 AM, continue to V8 Grand Final at 10:30 AM
  • SU schedule to be known after results of Semi-finals.

All racing will be broadcast via the IRA YouTube Channel, "irarowing".