With 2023 being its 50th year, the Crew Classic has had to do its fair share of evolving over its lifetime. Starting as a three-hour regatta featuring just eleven rowing teams, it is now one of the biggest and most anticipated regattas of the spring season, bringing together athletes of all ages and ability levels at one major event. Anyone who has attended the regatta in the past two decades knows that the racing is just one part of the overall experience of the San Diego Crew Classic; which has extended its offerings to include vendors, alumni spaces, food, and of course, the beer garden. This year the Crew Classic will continue to try to enhance the overall experience for all its attendees by adopting a "more is more" approach in several key areas.
"I'm really excited that we are going to have a fully stacked Vendor Row this year" says Associate Regatta Director, Megan Kalmoe. "I have been working closely with all of the vendors this winter to put together a lineup that I think people can be really pumped about."
Photo courtesy of SDCC
This year will see the return of everyone's favorite domestic apparel names like JL, Sew Sporty, Rubini Jewelers and Approach. But joining the lineup this year are three international newcomers: RivalKit, Evupre, and 776BC. USRowing will be expanding their presence at the Crew Classic with a bigger retail footprint that will allow them to also highlight Stem to Stern. Boat builders will be back in force as well, with Vespoli, Hudson, Wintech and Pocock attending as well as Victoria, BC builders Whitehall Rowing, manufacturer of the OarBoard® SUP rower. Finally, the regatta would not be complete without Concept2 and NK Sports holding down the equipment and technology sector.
"Overall, it's a great group of people we have coming to support and celebrate the rowing community," says Kalmoe. "Get your Venmo account ready."
Two different rowing podcasts will be making their Crew Classic debuts at this year's regatta. Denise Aquino and Patricia Destine of Rowing in Color will be on the grounds to interact with fans and create content, in addition to facilitating some entries in the Mixed Masters Club 8+. Rising multimedia superstar Hudson Forster of the For Stars podcast will also be onsite on Saturday, April 1 bringing the hype and documenting the who's who of the regatta alongside friend and podcast patron Xeno Mueller. There is also an unconfirmed rumor that filmmaker Eamon Glavin of Instagram and Strava fame will be attending, so there's no telling who or what will go viral at this year's #CrewClassic.
Rest, Roll, Repeat
Supporters of the Crew Classic for twenty four years, American Specialty Health® along with their mobile platform brand Active&Fit Now® will return in 2023 to sponsor a new Recovery Lounge open to everyone at the regatta to recover, replenish and restore themselves before and after racing.
Photo courtesy of SDCC
The Active&Fit Recovery Lounge will feature massage chairs, spin bikes, stretching mats, foam roller sets, and stretching videos. All regatta attendees are invited to sign up and then swing by the Recovery Lounge to cool down, stretch, or do other muscle recovery work. Please sign up for your Recovery Lounge time by emailing: email@example.com.
All ages VIP spaces are back in 2023 offering attendees an elevated way to enjoy the regatta. The Crew Classic will offer VIP spaces on both Saturday and Sunday this year, with the addition of the Club 73 tent on Sunday. Both tents will feature shaded seating in a finish line enclosure, a no-host bar, snacks and screens showing the live stream of the racing. The Sunday Brunch By the Bay will also be back in 2023, occupying the Champions Pavilion on Sunday morning. VIP tents and the Brunch are open to the public, but tickets are limited. To purchase, visit: crewclassic.org/tickets
Coronado Brewing Beer Garden
"The Crew Classic Beer Garden is my Superbowl" - anonymous Crew Classic athlete
The Beer Garden will be back in 2023 and will be bigger in every way. "We are thrilled to have Coronado Brewing back as the Beer Garden sponsor in 2023," says Executive Regatta Director, Bobbie Smith. "They do a phenomenal job of supporting the regatta, and giving our rowers what they want—which is a great place to connect with each other after racing, and great beer to do it with." This year to accommodate the ever-growing popularity of the Beer Garden, it will be relocated the grassy area along the path south of Vendor Row.
"Moving the Beer Garden to its new location allows us to expand it, as well as getting people in front of the Jumbo Tron, closer to our fabulous food trucks, and of course, closer to the bathrooms," says Smith. Coronado will also be going bigger this year expanding its menu to include not only pours of several types of cider and beer-including the new Post-2k IPA- but spiked seltzer as well. Athletes and fans can expect more seating, and a DJ on Sunday to keep the party going.