One of the most distinguishing traditions of the College - both for its uniqueness and its ridiculousness - the Crum Regatta continues to draw many students equipped with paddles and "boats" to the Crum Creek. The 500-meter race through shallow waters itself is unappealing; what makes the Regatta a worthwhile event is the variety of boats that students design to dominate the fierce waters of the three-foot deep creek.
What draws students to invest so much time and effort building these floating devices, to wake up early on a Saturday or Sunday morning and, above all, to submerge themselves in the glacial waters of Crum Creek? It's not really a desire to impress their parents (the Regatta takes place during Garnet Homecoming and Family Weekend), but rather a thirst for glory and immortality: a wide array of prizes, including the Leif Erikson, the Christopher Columbus, and the Queen Elizabeth Awards await not only the winners, but also those to last cross the finish line. In the end, almost every competitor is guaranteed to receive some sort of decoration.
Adam Dalva '08
New York, NY
Those in the audience are assured some fierce naval action... or maybe not, according to Dalva, who wrote this about a recent race in his Phoenix column: "The competition in the Regatta this year was like Steven Segal in 'Executive Decision' - good for the first couple of seconds, then a shocking death characterized by sucking. The second-place finisher was two dudes in what looked like a metal bathtub, and third place was Kevin Carr '08 literally running along the river bottom and pushing five girls on a plank. This means that seven other boats were slower than someone running along a river bottom and pushing at least 300 pounds." Not to mention, of course, that some of the boats don't even float to begin with!
Yet, as much fun as the spectators may poke, for all of the competitors, the Regatta is at the height of their Swarthmore careers. Prospective competitors should watch out for the official announcement a few weeks before the big weekend and submit an application to the Events Planning Office in Parrish N 278.