As a 5th year senior at SDSU in ’73/’74, it was my last year to get a Varsity jacket. As a Community College transfer, I sat out the spring semester so I could start in the Fall of ’71 with all the other new students. Tennis was my primary sport at the time. However, my JC did not have tennis and the Athletic Director would not let me start a program, hence my tennis career took a nosedive – other than me teaching private lessons and entering SoCal tournaments.
Fast forward to the Fall of ’73. My roommate, who I transferred to SDSU with and knew since the 8th grade, met a couple of guys on the rowing team. He told me he was thinking about going out for Crew. I told him we didn’t know anything about rowing, and would never make a boat as novices. He went out anyway and 3 weeks later told me I should go out – the team wasn’t very good and he thought we could make Varsity. I said you’ve got to be kidding, but knowing it was my last shot at a Varsity jacket, I would give it a try. Back then Men’s Crew was a Varsity (funded) sport and Women’s Crew did not yet exist.
Long story short, my roommate was right; we made the Varsity. We raced in the Western Sprints up in Canada at the end of the season in a Varsity 4+ and made it through the heats and reps to make the final where we finished 5th. Back in those days all the crews on the west coast raced in the Western Sprints. That included Washington, Cal, Stanford, UCLA, Long Beach, UCLA, Santa Barbara and several Oregon schools.
We had so much fun and everything was paid for by SDSU that I’ve rowed continuously now for 47 years. Rowing has changed my life. I met my wife rowing (she was a coxin), two of my daughters rowed for the SDRC Juniors and my best friends are all rowers.
Even with the season cut short, both the team and the foundation would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the supporters who have contributed this year by donating or attending a race. Below are some of the highlights from this very unusual year.
With the 2020 Crew Classic canceled, the foundation held our first ever virtual meeting on April 5th. Eleven members attended via phone and webcam to discuss the future of the team, the foundation, and elected officers to the board. (You can read the meeting minutes here.)
2020 Elected Board Members President – Bernard Aparicio Vice President – Matthew Stewart Treasurer – Steve Lewis Secretary – Brandt Watson At-Large Member – Kameron Kennington At-Large Member – Andy Olson
New to the board this year, is at-large member Kameron Kennington. Kam rowed for the Aztecs from 2011-2015, serving his final year as the club’s Public Relations Officer. Kam joins the Foundation in 2020 as a member at-large. He is eager to continue to follow the team’s growth, and is honored to have a chance to help create positive momentum for current and future Aztec oarsmen.
State of the Team – From Head Coach Craig Doan
On Thursday March 12th, Associated Students and the Sports Club Council suspended all club activities before correctly cancelling the remainder of the spring season two-weeks later in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. While this was an unprecedented, and admittedly painful, way to end the season (particularly for our 5 graduating seniors) this was not completely unexpected. With the cancelling of the Ivy League season just the day before, we knew the dominos would be quick to fall and spoke to the team in advance of that Thursday morning practice. We hit the Mission Bay water that morning focusing the day’s session on making sure we understood the value of our time on the water with the people who shape our daily lives and collegiate experience, unsure of if and when we’d get the chance to experience it all again. We hadn’t yet heard an announcement from the University when we left the H Del Beekley Boathouse that morning, but everyone understood it was an inevitability. Following the announcement, the entire team joined me at my home to say our goodbyes to the season and each other as the students quickly departed for home in order to be with their families.
On May 12, one month after cancelling the current spring season, the CSU board overseeing San Diego State University announced that the fall 2020 semester will take place primarily online. While nothing has been stated officially at this time, it is believed that this will directly impact the team, with practices being unlikely to be allowed on Mission Bay, effectively cancelling the fall season. This situation is still ongoing, and the Foundation is committed to supporting both Head Coach Craig Doan and the team during this uncertainty.
Throughout this, the team has stayed active and engaged. The athletes are meeting monthly on zoom to catch up and plan for the coming year. After finishing out the semester logging workouts against one another, they have entered a short detraining phase and will begin summer workouts in preparation for next season in a few weeks. In the meanwhile, the Executive Board is meeting bi-weekly via Zoom to discuss and plan for next season and will be posting updates via social media and the team website. Amidst this unprecedented situation, I have consistently been impressed by this team’s ability to see this extended leave as an opportunity to take advantage of, and to make this team better going forward. While I know so many have found this time to be discouraging, I have been continually impressed by the drive and positive attitudes of those involved in Aztec Rowing.
Because of the safety issues brought about by the coronavirus, the 2020 San Diego Crew Classic was canceled. Therefore the H Del Beekley Foundation will be holding our annual meeting and elections online Sunday April 5th at 4:00pm PST. If you would like to participate please send an email to email@example.com.
The H. Del BeekleyRowing Foundation cordially invites you to participate in our 3rd Golf Tournament Fundraiser on Saturday, February 8th at the highly rated Admiral Baker Golf Course in San Diego.
The morning will start off with player check-in opening at 8:30 AM. At that time players will get a golf cart, some range balls, and will have some time to get their practice swings in at the driving range before our tee times begin at 9:30 AM. At that point we’ll be kicking off our Scramble format tournament through the links. So, whether you consider yourself a pro or more of a duffer, you’re sure to have a great time and end the round with a solid score!
In addition to the tournament itself, we will have a couple of challenges along the course for anyone who elects to buy the Bonus Packs. The first will be the Longest Drive competition where you can unleash your best drive and put yourself in the running for a prize at the end of the event. The second challenge will require a bit more finesse as you take aim to get the closest to the pin on one of the shorter holes on the course. If the big drive and pin challenges elude you on the course, your bonus pack also buys you raffle tickets to put you in the running for a prize at the end of the event.
All net proceeds from the event will go directly to the H. Del Beekley Rowing Foundation. The success of this event depends on the involvement of many individuals as well as business sponsors who participate in the event and sponsor tees or raffle items. If you or your business are interested in sponsoring a tee or the event through in-kind items, or would like to make a straight donation, please contact the Beekley Rowing Foundation board by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registration options are now open on our registration site at (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/h-del-beekley-3rd-annual-golf-tournament-fundraiser-registration-88395724993). Online registration will close on Sunday, January 27th at midnight, so head on over and sign up for the event. Or better yet, rally up a foursome of your buddies and take advantage of reduced pricing for a Foursome with Bonus Pack. And remember, while this event is hosted by the Beekley Rowing Foundation, participation in the event is open to all! We’re looking forward to seeing you on the course!
NewslettersComments Off on 2019 End of the Year Newsletter
The Fall season has come to a close and we’re looking ahead to 2020. The team had a great Fall with new head coach Craig Doan, racing in the San Diego Fall Classic and the Head of the Harbor. You can read all about them here.
The annual H Del Beekley Rowing Foundation Golf Tournament will be held on February 8, 2020 at the historic Admiral Baker Golf Course. Come enjoy a round of golf and fun with your friends and other supporters of the Beekley Foundation. We’ll be sending a registration email soon so keep your eyes peeled.
2019 Donations – Today’s the last day!
If you’re looking for a meaningful tax deduction we’re always appreciative of donations towards our continuing efforts to ensure the success of SDSU Men’s Crew. This year we were able to buy the team an 8-man racing shell. With your donations we can continue to provide updated equipment and support to the team. Please donate today!
2020 Crew Classic
This year the San Diego Crew Classic is April 4 & 5th. We will be cheering on the Aztecs as well as dedicating the racing shell that Beekley Foundation donors like you helped purchase for the team. More to come!
After an exciting year we are looking forward to a successful Spring racing season in 2020. We hope to see you at a race this Spring. Go Aztecs!
UncategorizedComments Off on Aztecs In Full Swing: Fall Racing & Team Update
Aztec Football Tailgate – This Friday November 15th
This Friday (11/15) is the Alumni tailgate party right before the SDSU/Fresno State football game. The football team is 7-2 so it’s a great time to see an Aztec game and catch up with fellow rowing alumni, plus meet the current team. We will be grilling up Burgers and Dogs, and some BBQ Pulled Pork to feast on while you hang out with your friends and talk with the current team! So, head on over to section H3 anytime after 5 PM where we’re planning to have an oar standing as the flag at our tent. Tickets to the game can be purchased here
The team had a solid showing for their first race of the year on their home course at the San Diego Fall Classic this past weekend. With only 2 returners from last years Varsity 8, this years varsity squad came in 12th out of a field of 21 in their first showing. Then, the Novice 8 pulled their way to a 4th place finish out of 10. Keep your eye out for a full post from Coach Craig on AztecRowing.com. Meanwhile, the team is busily working to prepare for their next race at the Port of LA on Nov 24th!
This year we fielded 4 eights with Alumni filling out the engine room, Varsity rowers in stroke pair, and some select Novices in bow pair. This years’ alumni had representation from every decade since the mid 1970’s, all the way to athletes that just graduated last year. It’s amazing and encouraging to see how many have continued their involvement in the sport and are still rowing nearby at SDRC.
New Boat Dedication @ Crew Classic
Last year, the foundation prioritized the purchase of a 8+ racing shell. The team was incredibly grateful for the new equipment, which has complemented their fleet well. A tremendous thank you goes out to all the contributors for this shell. Plans are currently being made to host an event for the boat naming and dedication over the weekend of the San Diego Crew Classic on the weekend of April 4-5th.
NewslettersComments Off on A New Season Begins: Team Update, Alumni Row, and More
We regretfully announce that head coach Julia Gamache has decided to leave the program to become the head coach of LMU Men’s rowing. Julia began coaching novice at SDSU in 2013, and has been a mainstay of the program ever since. In her six years with the team she showed tremendous dedication and leadership. The board wishes her all the best in her endeavors. Following this transition, Novice coach Craig Doan has stepped up to lead the team this year as Head Coach.
Craig joined the team as an assistant coach in 2016, stepping in to help coach both the novice and varsity squads. He holds both a Bachelors degree in Biochemistry and a Masters in Exercise Physiology from Kansas State.
A Kansas native with seven years of experience as head coach of the Kansas State Men’s Rowing Team, Craig has already made an impression on the program. Craig played a key role coaching the novice squads in back-to-back Crew Classic grand final appearances in 2018 and 2019.
The board welcomes Craig to this role and looks forward to working with him this year.
The team continues to move forward. Coach Craig recruited 32 novice rowers this fall, and the coach and officers are continuing to push for a strong novice class. The team highly encourages alumni to attend a practice to meet Craig, and share stories of their time on the team. If interested in attending a practice, please contact the head coach at email@example.com
The search for a new assistant coach is well under way. If you know any qualified coaches who can make an impact, don’t hesitate to reach out to coach Craig.
H. Del Beekley Foundation Update
Last year, the foundation prioritized the purchase of a 8+ racing shell. Following close discussions with the coaching staff, who explored many options, the board voted to purchase a 2017 Pocock 8+. The team was incredibly grateful for the new equipment, which has complemented their fleet well. A tremendous thank you goes out to all the contributors for this shell. The board will continue to raise funds to support the team in all their endeavors! With alumni support, this team can continue to flourish.
Alumi Row – Saturday November 2nd @ 6:30 AM
Come get on the water with this year’s team and relive the challenge and camaraderie of Aztec crew during our annual Fall Alumni row. Last year we had two full 8’s of alumni come out for a mixed row with the team, and they still had some swing left in them.
Submit your 5K erg scores by – just kidding.
Join us for a comfortable row and revive old memories with another beautiful morning on Mission Bay. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.
Aztec Football Tailgate – Friday November 15th @6:30pm
Join fellow Alumni and team members for our homecoming tailgate as SDSU takes on Fresno State at 6:30pm. We have been busy preparing for this year, as over 50 alumni, friends, and family joined us last year for some BBQ and cornhole before the game.
Meet as over at H3 at 5pm! We’ll have hot dogs, burgers, and some pulled pork as well as the SDSU Men’s Crew history books to peruse.
The team is getting ready to make their order for this years Fall Racing/Trading shirts and wants to extend the opportunity to purchase to our alumni. The shirts will cost $25 ($30 shipped anywhere in the US) and are black, short-sleeve performance tee’s from Badger.
If you’re interested, head over to the pre-order form and place your order before pre-sales end on October 15th. Payment will be accepted via Venmo or good old fashioned check, and all sales will additionally help offset the cost of outfitting the team with this years shirts.
A boat cannot move fast without many oars working in concert to build momentum. Likewise, the purchase of the Pocock 8+ this year could not have been possible without the support of donations from alumni across all years. Consider doing your part to help make the foundation successful by contributing monthly via our new online donation system.
NewslettersComments Off on Summers Greetings! Padres Game Night & More
Happy Summer SDSU Rowing Alumni, Supporters, and Friends!
We hope your summer is off to a good start and you are enjoying the extra hours of sunlight this time of year brings.
The rowing season may be over but the Foundation is in full swing working with the team to prepare for another successful year of Aztec Rowing. This includes having a few open slots for current Aztec oarsmen to row at San Diego Rowing Club through the summer for free, thanks to the generosity of Foundation/SDRC members. Any current rowers in town for the summer wanting to keep their fitness and technique sharp can contact Bernie at email@example.com for more info.
Padres Game Night 2019
Join the Foundation for another summer Padres Game Night on Saturday July 27th vs. the San Francisco Giants! Tickets will be between $25-$30. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday July 9th to reserve your seat with us at one of the nation’s most beautiful ballparks! We will have a pre-game meet up at 5pm – more details to come.
Consider joining our growing list of monthly donors
A boat cannot move fast without many oars working in concert to build momentum. Likewise, the purchase of the Pocock 8+ this year could not have been possible without the support of small donations from alumni across all years. Consider doing your part to help make the foundation successful by contributing monthly via our new online donation system.
Future Beekley Foundation Events
July 27, 2019 – Padres vs. Giants Alumni Game Night November 9, 2019 – Alumni Row, Homecoming Football Game/Tailgate
NewslettersComments Off on Crew Classic Boat Purchase and Year-End Update
Hello SDSU Rowing Alumni, Supporters and Friends, After an exciting fall, it was a pleasure to kick off the spring season with the Crew Classic! The regatta featured some of the premier teams in the United States, and provided the Aztecs an opportunity to test themselves against the fastest crews in the nation. Both SDSU men and women attended the regatta, with a great crowd of supporters to cheer them on. In addition to the weekend’s amazing races, the Aztec tent was filled with great stories of past racing, fresh food off the BBQ, and memorabilia of SDSU rowing.
Annual Crew Classic Banquet
The weekend kicked off with the Annual Team Banquet. The event saw a healthy attendance, and a number of items up for auction. The evening featured a social dinner, speeches, and a silent auction. The O’Hara family provided three scholarships in memory of James O’Hara for exceptional Novice athletes. Congratulations to Sawyer Lowe, Shane Siegal and Sarah Levin for receiving the memorial scholarship from the family. The team and the recipients express their appreciation for the O’Hara family for their continued support.
Crew Classic 2019
We were excited to have both the Varsity 8 and Novice 8 racing in finals on Sunday. The Varsity 8 pretty handily took out Long Beach in their heat, and secured a 6th place finish in the Petite Final on Sunday. The Novice 8 took 3rd in their heat, which landed them in the Grand Finals on Sunday, where they narrowly missed the podium by finishing 4th overall. In addition to the boats making the Sunday finals, the team was also able to field a 2nd Varsity 8 that raced on Sunday to round out their showing at the event. With two 8’s of athletes on Varsity, and almost a full second eight of novices, the team is continuing to use their numbers to drive inter-squad competition as they prepare for WIRAs. Full results from Crew Classic weekend can be found here
Crew Classic BBQ and Presentation from former coach Chuck Datte
During Sunday Finals, Andy Olson and Dan Smith fired up the grill and served up a whopping portion of food. Visiting Alumni reminicised of their years on the team, and shared stories of racing at Crew Classic with current rowers. The team is incredibly grateful to all the alumni that attended the event, and appreciates the history shared.
To make this event even more influential on the Aztecs, a history of Aztec Rowing was given by Mr. Chuck Datte, who coached for the Aztecs from 1985-1986-. Chuck unearthed some relics of Aztec racing, with photographs of the team racing at IRA’s, Henley, and training for WC trials. The amazing crews of that era toiled greatly at the oars. Chuck described the difficulties faced by the athletes and coaches as they raised expectations to unprecedented levels. Most inspiring, he instilled in the athletes that this accomplishment came from the athletes themselves.
2019 Foundation Meeting and Officer Elections
After Chuck’s dialogue, attending Alumni gathered at the tent to kick off the H. Del Beekley Foundation’s 11th Annual Meeting. The meeting visited the successes of the past year, namely the alumni participation at local events, and the purchase of a new racing 8. A discussion with the team brought forth the upcoming goals for the following year, which focus on the development of benchmarks for the team and foundation. In addition, the team officers highlighted the Alumni events and their positive impact on the team. Meeting minutes will be posted on the H Del Beekley website, but for convenience, the 2019-2020 officers are introduced below.
President – Bernard Aparicio – Bernard served as vice president in 2018, and takes on the president role under the guidance of his fellow officers.
Vice President – Matthew Stewart – Matthew takes on the vice president role after serving with distinction as an at-large member.
Secretary – Brandt Watson – Brandt continues as secretary, where he served in great capacity last year.
Treasurer – Steve Lewis – Steve continues as treasurer, in which capacity he has been outstanding for three years.
At Large – Andy Olson – Andy opted to take a step back this year. As an at-large member, he will prove invaluable for his extensive history and undying passion for Aztec rowing.
At Large – Haakon Christoffer Jonsmyr – Chris returns as an at-large member, which he served admirably last year.
Boat Fund Update – Boat Purchased
Finally, the weekend included the purchase of a 2017 Pockock 8+ from the University of Texas. Last year, the foundation voted to purchase an appropriate racing shell for the team. After a steady year of fundraising, the foundation raised $30,000 for the purchase, and secured the boat shortly before crew classic. The team happily brought the boat home on Saturday, and it is now the top boat for SDSU men’s crew. The boat was purchased not with a single donation, but through the generosity of over 50 Alumni over the past two years. This collective effort shows the great ability of the Alumni base to support the team, and we endeavor to continue this over the next year.
Alumni Spring Row – May 4, 2019
If tales of Crew Classic has inspired you to take up the oar again, you’re in luck! On Saturday May 4th at 7:30am, come down and relive the glory days as you join with fellow alumni to give the current Aztec oarsmen a run for their money. As usual, all eras of rowers are welcome, and several 8’s are expected to be racing. A $20 buy-in gets you a seat, first come, first served (fitness not required). If you would like to participate, contact us (email@example.com) or a member of the board and we will reserve your seat. Come down and pay tribute to the great oarsmen of Aztec Rowing!
NewslettersComments Off on Boat Opportunity – We need your help now!
Aztec Alumni and Friends, A great opportunity has just landed in our laps to purchase a very gently used 2017 Pocock XVIII for the team. The even better news is that it will be on a trailer and brought out to Crew Classic THIS WEEKEND! In order to capitalize on this great opportunity, we need to close the last $5000 gap on our boat fund effort ASAP! So, I’m throwing in my support by donating the first $1k today and asking you to help me and the rest of the Foundation make this goal a reality by heading to the Donate page and making your contribution today!
We want to thank everybody that has already helped put over twenty thousand dollars into the boat fund so far, without you we wouldn’t be able to consider this great opportunity. For the rest of you, now is the time to take action and join the effort. We have a very limited time window to get the HUGE benefit of transportation covered because the boat is already on a trailer to make the trip to the San Diego Crew Classic!
Andy Olson President – H. Del Beekley Rowing Foundation