On Wednesday April 17, Student Association awarded the Geneseo Crew Club a $20,000 grant to replace a damaged boat. According to head coach of Crew Club Jason Rich, the club’s request was precipitated by a freak thunderstorm in South Carolina during spring training. The storm caused the boat to flip, incurring damage to the hull.
After assessing the boat’s damage, the team was informed that the boat would no longer float properly, President senior Rachel O’Neill said.
“Safety became a huge issue and we had to look into other options,” she said. “We decided to try and come to the school for a brand new boat. We feel really fortunate that they passed it.”
According to SA Director of Business Affairs senior Casey Howard, most of the team’s boats were purchased by the state, thus placing both SA and Crew Club in a unique situation.
“The boats are pretty old,” Howard said. “Considering that they have a new coach and they are headed in a good direction, in addition to the fact the size of their club is more than they can accommodate rowers, it made sense to invest while we have the money to make that kind of purchase for them”
According to Howard, the team submitted a permanent equipment request to SA with quotes for the boat model, as well as comparable quotes for boats of similar makes and models.
“There is a line in the budget for permanent equipment,” Howard said. “It’s not like the rest of the budget where every year we allocate the same amount. We look at it after our audit each fall. We assess our finances and risks, and based on what we’ve already spent in one year, we kind of guess how much to allocate.”
According to Howard, this year there was approximately $40,000 in the budget for permanent equipment, placing SA in a position to grant the request.
“Crew is always a constant battle to be funded,” Rich said. “There is a long list of things we still need – stuff that is necessary. Unfortunately, unless you’re Harvard [University] with millionaire alumni, you’re forced to prioritize and safety comes first.”
O’Neill said the purchase of the boat will be extremely helpful for the team.
“We don’t currently have a men’s four anymore, so that whole group of people wouldn’t have been able to race for future seasons,” she said. “Racing in fours is more competitive. Having this boat will allow them to win medals and get better and win against better schools at bigger regattas.”
According to Rich, the team currently has four novice freshmen heavyweight gentlemen who were awarded gold at their last race.