The Dad Vail Regatta is the largest collegiate regatta in the United States, with over 100 colleges and Universities from the U.S. and Canada. Thousands of student athletes visit the city of Philadelphia during the weekend of the second Saturday of May.
The Dad Vail also goes by other names. For some its been dubbed the "Big Daddy," of college rowing. For others its been called the national championship for the "little guy." But whatever the name, and whatever the size of the schools, it's the regatta that ensures crews the opportunity to see how they stack up against other teams regardless. As a result you'll possibly see a Michigan competing against an Iona, a Purdue taking on a Johns Hopkins or a Penn State up against a Colgate.
This make-up is what makes the Dad Vail special. Founded in1934, by two rowing officials from Penn, they had in mind a regatta where "little guys" could compete and not worry about taking on power house schools of the day. The result was three schools competing in varsity eight boats; Manhattan, Marietta and Rutgers. (Marietta won). From this group of three, the Dad Vail has grown into 2006's 118 entries and the possibility that there will be a repeat number, possibly larger, this year.
Come early!The police close Kelly Drive. Follow the signs for remote parking, (fee required). From the remote parking lots look for the shuttle bus to the racecourse. Buses run throughout the day.