NCAA rowing season is back

March 31, 2023
Power up your cox box and head to the water — rowing season is back!

The GIST: Power up your cox box and head to the water — rowing season is back! After a few low-stakes competitions in the fall, the spring drama is finally here. This is the first weekend of the season featuring major multi-team tourney action. Gonna fly these boats to the moon somehow.

The season: While men compete in collegiate rowing, only the women are sponsored by the NCAA. There are 91 Division I crew teams with an average of 47 athletes per team. Those massive rosters help schools satisfy Title IX requirements, which, in turn, led to an explosion in the sport’s popularity over the past 20 years.

  • Most spring competitions are 2km dual races between two (or occasionally three) teams. Larger tourneys, aka regattas, are sprinkled in throughout the season — and this weekend’s San Diego Crew Classic is one of the largest.
  • After two months of races, 22 squads — 11 conference champs and 11 committee-selected at-large bids — will qualify for the May 26–28 natty and a chance to heave, ho their way to some hardware.

The powerhouses: No. 1 Texas is, without a doubt, the team to beat this year. With three returning 2022 All-Americans, the Longhorns could hook a three-peat national championship — and their student body is hyped.

  • No. 2 Stanford isn’t quite at 27 Dresses level yet, but they’d love to finally be the bride after coming in second to Texas two years in a row. No time like the present to prove they can wrangle the Longhorns: Both row in San Diego this weekend.