The Spartan Navy

One of the main goals of the Spartan Alumni Rowing Association is to fund capital campaigns for new equipment to be used by Case Crew. The money raised by students goes into their sports club account and any equipment purchased with those funds is owned by the university. Any equipment bought with S.A.R.A. funds is owned by S.A.R.A. It sounds confusing but it really isn't since this arrangement gives the team and coaches much more flexibility. At the moment, SARA owns two shells and their details are below. For a list of shells own by the university you can CLICK HERE.


Leave Your Mark on Case Crew

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We are pleased to announce the first capital campaign for Case Crew! The team continues to benefit from the generosity of your Annual Fund contributions. However, it's time we, as alumni, parents and friends, leave our mark on the team by providing them with competitive equipment.

The new Pocock 4+, the Dorothy A. Hudak, to replace the Sweet J has been delivered and was dedicated at the 2008 Head of the Cuyahoga. Also, a trailer was given to the team at the 2009 Head of the Cuyahoga. The new four and trailer have been huge steps in building the Spartan Navy, but we still need another four. Please take a moment to read about the Alumni Victorious Campaign and consider a donation. There are still many naming opportunities left.


Shells Owned by S.A.R.A.

Heather Hawkins Hudak:

2007 Pocock Hypercarbon Lightweight 8+ - carbon laminate, wing riggers

The first women sized 8+ purchased for the team. The lead gift was provided by Tom Hudak '92 in honor of his wife and her support of his rowing habit. Other gifts were provided by the Monroe, Kennedy, Tobin, Marcovy, Bachmann and Rathburn families and seats were named in their honor. The Pocock shell was purchased used from Ithaca College in August 2015 and raced by Case Crew for the first time at the 2015 Head of the Cuyahoga.

Don McGrath:

1999 Resolute Heavyweight 8+ - carbon laminate

The heavyweight Resolute 8+ was purchased used from Cornell University in August 2015 and raced by Case Crew for the first time at the 2015 Head of the Cuyahoga. This shell and the Alumni Victorius were purchased together and are matched shells. The lead gift was provided by the family of rower Lucas Vroege to honor his grandfather. Other gifts were provided by the Hoye and Hausladen families and seats were named in their honor.
Images from the shell dedication.

Alumni Victorius:

1999 Resolute Heavyweight 8+ - carbon laminate

The heavyweight Resolute 8+ was purchased used from Cornell University in August 2015 and raced by Case Crew for the first time at the 2015 Head of the Cuyahoga. This shell and the Don McGrath were purchased together and are matched shells. This particular shell was originally owned by the Naval Academy (hence the yellow decks) and then purchased later by Cornell so that it would match the McGrath and used for training their heavyweight squad. The lead gift was provided by Doug Rathburn '97 to honor the role alumni have played and will play in the success of Case Crew for generations to come.
Images from the shell dedication.

Stefan James:

2011 Pocock Hypercarbon Lightweight 4+ - carbon laminate, bow coxed

The second shell purchased as part of the Alumni Victorious Campaign. The lead gift was provided by Dan Bachmann '97 MED'02 and his family in honor of his deceased brother, Stefan James. Other gifts were provided by Eric Matyac '94 and Doug Rathburn '97 and seats were named in their honor. The boat was delivered in September 2011 by Pocock and christened at the Speakmon Regatta in Columbus, Ohio.
Images from the shell dedication.

 

Dorothy A. Hudak:

2008 Pocock Hypercarbon Midweight 4+ - carbon laminate, bow coxed

The first shell purchased as part of the Alumni Victorious Campaign. A number of alumni donated the oars, seats and cox box to make the shell a reality. The boat was delivered in April 2008 by Pocock and is named after Case Crew founder Tom Hudak's mother. Tom and his father, Tom, each made a significant donation to name the shell after their mother and wife.
Images from the shell dedication.

 

zusammen:

2012 Pocock Hypercarbon K2 Midweight Pair/Double

The zusammen was purchased with a lead gift from Doug and Erynn Rathburn and delivered to the boathouse in February 2012 by Pocock. The purchase was supported by trading in the positive α, a 2007 pair, back to Pocock. The name, zusammen, translates to "together" in German. At the time of the gift the Rathburns lived in Germany and felt "together" was a fitting name. Rowing a pair well requires togetherness and the success of Case Crew and SARA require all students, coach, alumni, parents and friends to work to together.
Images from the shell dedication.

 

kaizen:

2007 Pocock Hypercarbon K2 Midweight Pair/Double

The "kaizen" was purchased with a lead gift from Doug and Erynn Rathburn and delivered to the boathouse in December 2008 by Klinger Engineering. The boat was purchased originally by Doug & Erynn as their personal shell with the intention of someday donating it to SARA. Both the kaizen and alpha were purchase at about the same time from Pocock. Even though they both came from the same mold, the kaizen is the higher-end 100% carbon model for the fastest varsity crews. The alpha is the single skin mostly fibreglass version that is perfect for training and more inexperienced crews.

The name, kaizen, is a Japanese phrase used in manufacturing that loosely translates to continuous improvement. Hopefully with a fleet of small boats at their disposal Case Crew will continuously improve. Doug & Erynn also donated a pair of 2007 Ultralight Big Blade Vortex Edge Concept 2 sweep oars for use with the shell.
Images from the shell dedication.

 

sisu:

2010 Hudson Super Predator Predator Heavyweight Single

The "sisu" was purchased Doug Rathburn as his own personal shell in 2010. However, later in the year his company transferred him out of the country so he donated the shell to SARA in December 2010. The name, sisu, is a Finnish word that roughly translates to "strength of will, determination, or perseverance." More details on the meaning of the word can be found here on Wikipedia. Doug also donated a couple sets of Ultralight Smoothie2 Concept 2 sculling blades for use with the shell.
Images from the shell dedication.

 

sustain:

2013 Hudson Super Predator Predator Midweight Single


This shell is currently on loan to alumna Miranda Cullins as she trains for the US national team

The "sustain" was purchased with a lead gift from Doug and Erynn Rathburn and picked up from the Hudson factory by Miranda Cullins in March 2009. The name, sustain, relates to numerous concepts in lean manufacturing where the final and most difficult job is to "sustain" results. Hopefully this single will help rowers achieve and sustain a high level of performance. Doug & Erynn also donated an older set of Ultralight Big Blade Concept 2 sculling blades for use with the shell.
Images from the shell dedication.

SARA traded in the 2009 Hudson Predator version of this shell for a 2010 Super Predator model in July 2010. Then it was traded in again in April 2013 for a Super Predator model with bow mount rigger. The name remained.

 

sachem:

2014 Peinert 26 Mid-Heavyweight Single

The "sachem" was purchased new from Peinert Boatworks by Doug & Erynn Rathburn. Peinerts are known to be sturdy club singles that can take the abuse of novice and club rowers. The Peinert 26 is built for 150-210 pound rowers and is a perfect shell for Case rowers to begin learning to scull on the Cuyahoga. The boat is a direct replacement for the "Capt. Rando", which was a 1997 version of the same hull. Following the "leader" theme for many of the team's small boats the term "sachem" is the name for an Algonquians indian chieftain (a.k.a. Sagamore).
Images from the shell dedication.

 

sagamore:

2011 Peinert X25 Lightweight Single

The "sagamore" was purchased new from Peinert Boatworks by Doug & Erynn Rathburn. Peinerts are known to be sturdy club singles that can take the abuse of novice and club rowers. The Peinert X25 is built for 110-160 pound rowers and is a perfect shell for Case rowers to begin learning to scull on the Cuyahoga. It is also the first ever woman-specific shell to be put into the fleet. Following the "leader" theme for many of the team's small boats the term "sagamore" is the name for an Algonquians indian chieftain (a.k.a. Sachem).
Images from the shell dedication.

 


Shells Owned by Case Crew

The Case Crew student athletes do a tremendous amount of fundraising for their sport. Who out there remembers selling beer at Browns games? All of the team fundraising goes to pay for travel, entry fees, Cleveland Rowing Foundation assessments to access the boathouse, and equipment when there's any money left. Since 1992, the list below plus the Sweet J are the only shells the team has been able to buy themselves (the Pytte & Lenny were gifts).

Eights:

Timothy A. Marcovy Law'77:
2007 Resolute midweight 8+
- carbon fibre monocoque, stern coxed
Images from the shell dedication.

Chris Sheridan (formerly Red Stripe):
2001 Vespoli DM 8+
- carbon double skin laminate Ultralight construction
Images from the shell dedication.

Fours:

Hot Sauce: 2012 Vespoli V1 Midweight 4+ - carbon double skin laminate Ultralight construction, stern coxed
Images from the shell dedication.

 


Equipment Wish List

This "ideal" fleet for the team would allow the coaches and rowers the flexibility to train when needed and be competitive in the races they enter. Boat are consumable items and must be replaced at regular intervals. Please consider a donation to help us keep our fleet in top shape!

Desired Fleet:
2 Eights
3-4Fours
2 Pair/Doubles
2 Singles
1 Trailer to take equipment to races
Oars for each boat
Rowing Electronics and Timing Devices for each

Rowing shells remain stiff and competitive for roughly 5 years, and the ages of the current fleet are listed below. Newer shells are used by the faster, more experienced crews while the older shells are generally used for training novices and in emergencies. Below is a list of currently used by the team and sample costs for various pieces of equipment on the wish list:

Type of Boat: Approximate Cost New (2014): Current Team Equipment:
Eight: $25,000 to $45,000 2007 Pocock Hypercarbon Lightweight 8+ [link]
2007 Resolute midweight 8+ [link]
1999 Resolute heavyweight 8+ [link]
1999 Resolute heavyweight 8+ [link]
2001 Vespoli D Midweight 8+ [link]
Four: $16,000 to $25,000 2012 Vespoli V1 Midweight 4+ [link]
2011 Pocock Hypercarbon Lightweight 4+ [link]
2008 Pocock Hypercarbon Midweight 4+ [link]
Pair/Double: $8,000 to $14,000 2012 Pocock K2 Hypercarbon 2-/2x [link]
2007 Pocock K2 Hypercarbon 2-/2x [link]
Single: $3,500 to $9,000 2014 Peinert 26 Mid-Heavy 1x [link]
2011 Peinert X25 Lightweight 1x [link]
2010 Hudson Super Predator Heavyweight 1x [link]
2010 Hudson Super Predator Midweight 1x [link]
2008 Midweight 1x built by Ken Germ
Trailer: $11,000 2007 36' Transporter Trailer [link]
Oars: $400 per oar 1 sets of 8 sweep oars (Jan 2015) - Croker
1 set of 8 sweep oars (Feb 2012)
1 set of 8 sweep oars (Feb 2010)
1 set of 4 sweep oars (July 2008)
1 set of 4 sweep oars (1990's vintage)
1 set of 2 sweep oars (2008)
5 sets of 2 sculling oars
- all from Concept 2 [link]
Electronics: $300 to $800 5 Nielsen-Kellerman Cox-Box Voice Amplifiers [link]
2 Nielsen-Kellerman SpeedCoach Timers [link]

With only three boats in the list funded via student fundraising and university support, it is clear that the team requires significant alumni, parent and friend support.

Please contact SARA if you'd like to help donate a piece of equipment to the team. We raise funds throughout the year that allow you to easily donate all or a portion of a new piece of equipment.

 


Retired Shells

SWEET J:

1995 Vespoli Performer D hull 4+ - carbon glass laminate, stern coxed

The team named the boat to honor the man who has shaped CWRU Crew into what it is today.... thanks Tim.
Generations of Case Crew oarsmen and oarswomen have plied their oars on the Cuyahoga to the screams of "Sweet Jesus!" and loved every minute of it.

Members of the CWRU Crew & Alumni worked hundreds of hours fundraising in order to donate the boat - mostly selling concessions at Cleveland Browns games and concerts at the old Municipal Stadium. The shell was delivered by Dave Trond of Vespoli USA to the 1995 National Collegiate Rowing Championships in Cincinnati. The shell was originally ordered with a light grey hull and navy blue decks, but Vespoli messed up the order and painted the hull white. The first four people to row the shell also donated a set of four 1995 Ultralight Concept 2 Big Blades. Stroke: Tuck Pescosolido, Three: Craig Agricola, Two: Doug Rathburn, Bow: Scott Atkinson.

The Sweet J was sold to First Boat in April 2008 to offset the purchase of the new SARA Hypercarbon Pocock 4+ ultimately christened the Dorothy A. Hudak.

 

Agnar Pytte:

1986 Kaschper midweight 8+ - fiberglass and wood, stern coxed

The Pytte was the first-ever shell owned by Case Crew. Then president of the university, Agnar Pytte, had sons at Princeton and was a fan of rowing. He took an interest in the fledgling club and donated $5000 out of his discretionary budget for the team to purchase a used 8+ and a set of oars from Villanova. The boat was brokered by Jack St. Clair who was the Villanova coach and US Kaschper representative. The shell was purchased and dedicated in 1994, and you can see a photo from the dedication here.

The boat was donated to the Chicago Training Center in April 2009 to help start their inner city youth program.

 

Leonard Case Jr.:

1984 Schoenbrod heavyweight 4+ - fiberglass and wood, stern coxed

The Lenny was originally purchased by Western Reserve Rowing Association from Columbia University, but fell into disrepair and sat on a rack for years. The team purchased the boat in January of 1995 with a committment to fix it. Craig Agricola, Amy Kozlowski, Ram Fish and Doug Rathburn spent the entire spring rebuilding it. The money to purchase and repair the shell came from the Case Alumni Association at the behest of executive director Roger Cerne. Roger did not want the boat named after him so the founder of the Case Institute of Technology's name was respectfully placed on the bow. A photo from the dedication ceremony can be seen here.

A trailer carrying the Lenny home from the 1995 Head of the Ohio was rear-ended and ripped off the stern of the shell up to the coxswain seat. The shell was sent to Shoenbrod in Biddeford, Maine under the care of Charlie Dibble to be repaired. The boat was returned to Cleveland in January 1996 by Doug Teamin of Ohio State. After a number of years of service the shell found its way back to the storage rack before finally being donated to the Chicago Training Center in April 2009 to help start their inner city youth program.

 

Hot Sauce:

2002 Vespoli Ultralite DM 4+ - carbon double skin laminate Ultralight construction, stern coxed

The Hot Sauce was purchased by Case crew new from Vespoli in 2002. After years of fundraising the team was able to buy their first new shell after the Sweet J in 1995. The boat was the mainstay of the program for years until the Dorothy Hudak was acquired in 2007. The Hot Sauce was traded in to Vespoli to go towards the purchse of The Jolly Scholar in 2012.

 

positive α:

2007 Pocock K2 Standard Line Midweight Pair/Double

The "alpha" was purchased with a lead gift from Doug and Erynn Rathburn and delivered to the boathouse in August 2007 by Pocock. The name, positive α, in financial circles means "a measure of a portfolio's return in excess of the market return". As a metaphor for rowing, it implies that Case rowers will outperform their competition. Doug & Erynn also donated two sets of 2002 Ultralight Smoothie Vortex Edge Concept 2 sculling blades for use with the shell.
Images from the shell dedication.

The positive α was traded back to Pocock in 2012 to help pay for the zusammen pair/double.

 

Survival:

2008 Custom Built Midweight Single

The "Survival" was built by local Cleveland rower Ken Germ. A victim of the financial turmoil besetting the automotive industry in 2008, Ken decided to build a couple boats to help relieve some stress. He decided to donate one of the two shells to a local Cleveland club, and after talking to Coach Tim Marcovy he decided Case and SARA should be the beneficiary. The boat is a mid-heavyweight construction using different colors of cedar wood. He then covered the outer hull with a thin layer of fiberglass for durability. The riggers and seat are carbon and sourced from Dreher. It is a beautiful boat and more photos can be found here.
Images from the shell dedication.

The Survival was sold to the Cleveland Rowing Foundation in 2015 to be used as a display piece in the lobby of the boathouse. It was renamed the Spirit of Cleveland.

 

Capt. Rando:

1997 Peinert 26 Mid-Heavyweight Single

The "Capt. Rando" was purchased used from Rando Blythe of the Charleston Rowing Club by Doug & Erynn Rathburn. Peinerts are known to be sturdy club singles that can take the abuse of novice and club rowers. The Peinert 26 is built for 150-210 pound rowers and is a perfect shell for Case rowers to begin learning to scull on the Cuyahoga. The boat came with a label "CAPT RANDO" to identify the owner at the Charleston boathouse -- Rando was the captain of the rowing club. When the Rathburn's acquired the shell the name stuck. When Doug upgraded to another single for himself, he donated the boat to SARA at the 2010 West Virginia Governor's Cup Regatta.
Images from the shell dedication.

The Capt. Rando was sold to Adirondack Rowing in 2014 to help pay for the sachem, which was exactly the same hull but from 2014.

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: April 5, 2015
Supporting Case Crew and the Spartan Navy since 2003