St. Valentine's Day Massacre

  • Hosted By Pelham Community Rowing Association
  • USRowing Registered

C.R.A.S.H.-B. History

In the beginning, C.R.A.S.H.-B. was a group of 1976 – 1980 US Olympic and World Team athletes who lurked on the Charles River, never rowing the same lineup twice, never practicing before a race, always jumping the start against Harvard and having a lot of fun too.

The 1980 U.S. boycott of the Olympics was not fun though, and in 1981 Concept2 invented their later-named Model A rowing ergometer, the one with the bicycle wheel, a wooden handle and an odometer. In February of 1982, the men (and a few women) of C.R.A.S.H.-B., led by the likes of Tiff Wood, Jake Everett and Holly Hatton, formed a fun little regatta of about twenty rowers in Harvard’s Newell Boathouse, to break up the monotony of winter training.

In the very beginning, the race was five miles on the Concept2 Model A ergometer, which had an odometer and a bicycle wheel. From the introduction of the Model B ergometer in the mid-1980s through 1995, the big race in mid-February was 2,500 meters on the new digital display, because the times were comparable even with the equipment change. To meet the specific training demands of international coaches who stress 6K and 2K rankings in the winter, starting with the 1996 World Indoor Rowing Championships the distance changed to 2,000m. The race is rowed on the latest Concept2 Model D ergometers, which are used by athletes at universities, clubs, schools, and national teams around the globe. Although C.R.A.S.H.-B. as an organization maintains an untraditional irreverence to all things that are not fun, nonetheless this ergometer has become serious business, threatening to replace fun with pain, unless you can equate the two.

The year following the first CRASH B event in Cambridge, NYAC Head Coach, Vincent Ventura ran the innaugural St. Valentine's Day Massacre on February 12, 1983 in the small confines of the NYAC John J. Sulger Boathouse. The NYAC hosted the event there until 2011 when the regatta had outgrown it's venue. In 2012, with the cooperation of NYAC, Pelham Community Rowing Association and Concept 2, The regatta moved to the large gymnasium of the Pelham Middle School.  It is one of a handful of CRASH B qualifying regattas in the country with the proud tradition of being the second longest running indoor rowing competition.

We look forward to seeing you at this year's event!