The Snapshot: Boat People

Who: Saint Joseph’s University men’s heavyweight varsity eight crew squad.
Where: The Schuylkill River.
When: 6:31 a.m.
Why: On May 12th and 13th, the St. Joe’s men’s team will defend its title as overall points winner of the 2005 Dad Vail, the largest collegiate regatta in the U.S.
Average distance the team rows at practice: 14 miles.
Why it isn’t as easy as it looks: People think crew is just a bunch of big guys rowing, says St. Joe’s head coach Drew Hill—“But the key is getting eight big guys to row precisely.”
Number of teams competing in the first Dad Vail Regatta in 1934: 4.
Number that competed last year: 118.
The New York Yankees of the event: Temple, which has won 20 men’s heavyweight varsity eight championships since 1983.
What Harry Emerson “Dad” Vail has to do with Philadelphia: Nothing. Vail, a legendary coach at the University of Wisconsin, was a friend of regatta co-founder Rusty Callow.