39th Annual San Diego Crew Classic Kicks Off

About 4,200 Rowers From Top Collegiate, Club Teams To Participate

The 39th annual San Diego Crew Classic begins Saturday, with about 4,200 rowers from top collegiate and club teams scheduled to take part.

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The UC Berkeley men are back with hopes of a fourth straight win in the Copley Cup race. Challenging the Bears will be rowers from Cornell, Gonzaga, Harvard, Michigan, Navy, Stanford, Temple, the University of British Columbia and UC San Diego.

The USC women are the defending champions of the Jessop-Whittier Cup. Other schools in the field this year are Alabama, Clemson, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Virginia, Washington and Washington State.

Teams from 125 universities, high schools and clubs will participate. Most of the competition will be among boats with eight rowers and a coxswain who sits in the back, steering and keeping the crew in rhythm. The 62-foot sculls reach about 12 mph.

Aside from the usual competition, an exhibition of rowers vying for spots in the London Olympics will be held.

A "jumbotron" video screen will help fans keep track of the action from shore, where there will be a beer garden on the sand.

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