Okay, I haven’t verified this particular fun fact, but I heard it from the mouth of the most famous of UPS’s ocean rowers, so I figure he’s a decent source. Jordan Hanssen, class of 2005, came to campus last week to give a talk about how, this one time, he and some friends thought it’d be pretty cool to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Long story short, not only did they think about it, they actually successfully did it, which landed them in the Guinness Book of World Records, created a nonprofit group called OAR Northwest, and inspired a book called Rowing into the Son in the process. Now they’re doing research and environmental education expeditions. No big deal.
Let’s just get this out there: how crazy impressive is it that this group of Puget Sound grads (all of whom, let the record show, were a part of the crew team as students here, thank you very much) rowed across an ocean? The physical and mental endurance to do something like that is a bit inconceivable to me, just sitting here at a table in the SUB typing away at my laptop. The general Puget Sound population already thinks us rowers are crazy enough, with our 4:30 a.m. alarms for chilly morning practices on our good ol’ American Lake, and we aren’t the ones crossing 3,000 miles of open ocean in a 29-foot boat.
This coming Saturday morning, April 12, alumni of Puget Sound Crew will gather at American Lake for the team’s 51st annual dual (or duel, depending on how you think of it) with Pacific Lutheran University, known as the Meyer/Lamberth Cup. Years of tradition will comingle at the grassy and slightly muddy hill of Harry Todd Park, represented by present rowers and past, along with any non-crew-related students who feel like sitting around watching boats row by. A four-foot-tall papier-mâché sculpture of a person’s head may make an appearance. You never know what these alums might come up with.
And, because you all were wondering, the number of ocean rowers who are also Loggers is five.