Husky Boat Trailer Has Arrived In Princeton
One of the hardest jobs in coaching crew is driving the shell trailer from the home base to a regatta location. For many of our races on the West Coast, it's a one-day trip down I-5. But when it comes time for IRAs, transporting the boats becomes considerably more difficult.
Each year, a group of coaches drive the trailer from Seattle to Princeton, N.J., where the Huskies train before moving on to Camden, N.J., for the National Championships. The trip is 2,839 miles from door-to-door. And you can probably guess it's a competition each year to see who can make it there the fastest.
Now, it's important to emphasize the team drives CAREFULLY across the country. Shells are expensive. But where the coaching staff competes is maximizing fuel efficiency and riding tail winds. A log is kept in the trailer, noting how many miles were in each tank, and how fast the trip took. The record is 46 hours and 41 minutes, and the top tank efficiency is 523.3 miles. Additional rules of the trip go as follows: a) each gas stop requires a driver switch, so everyone can take turns resting, and b) no speeding. It's believed the trailer has never received a speeding ticket, although it has been stopped twice (thankfully nowhere near Pullman, Wash., or Berkeley, Calif.).
This week, a team of men's coach Michael Callahan, along with assistants Ben Fletcher and Steve Full, completed the trip in 48 hours and 45 minutes, throwing some cold water on some pretty boisterous comments made before the trip. Another assistant Coach, Colin Sykes, holds the top spot and believes he will for some time, having used an oft-discussed tail wind to speed through the Midwest. Callahan did send a reminder that he saved on a tank of gas.
On the way back, assistants Luke McGee and Sykes will handle driving duties. The return trip typically features a stiff headwind, making it impossible to challenge the record.
Note: The Huskies will fly on Sunday from Seattle to Philadelphia, and then travel to Princeton to train for a week prior to the IRA Championships (June 3-5).
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