Lubbers Cup canceled due to 'trifecta of bad weather'

Becky Vargo • Apr 13, 2018 at 10:36 AM

Grand Valley rowing Coach John Bancheri said it is a weather trifecta that caused him to call off the 23rd Annual Lubbers Cup Regatta, planned for this weekend on Spring Lake.

The Grub and Brew Fest, planned for 4-8 p.m. Saturday at Old Boys’ Brewhouse, will go on as scheduled.

“We can row in the wind. We can row in the cold,” he said. “But now they’re talking 30s on Saturday with cold, driving rain.”

Bancheri said the National Weather Service is also predicting winds in the 20-25 mph range with gusts over 40 mph. 

“It’s like the trifecta of misery,” he said. “We’re not going to put the kids out in that weather.”

Based on the forecast, officials had already changed the course to a more sheltered start in Smith’s Bayou.

Bancheri said that official Jim Beebe went around and talked to residents on the bayou and they were supportive of the change.

Beebe was also out setting buoys on the course early Friday morning when the decision was made to cancel.

“We called him off,” Bancheri said.

The Minnesota team left Thursday afternoon to make the trip. Bancheri said he talked to their coach this morning and the team turned around.

“Drake (University) was packing their bus,” Bancheri said.

The regatta started in 1995 on the Grand River in Grand Rapids. It moved to Spring Lake in 2009.

While individual races have been canceled due to weather conditions over the years, this is the first time the entire event has been canceled.

Bancheri said the safety of the athletes was the top consideration.

While warming tents were planned for the athletes and spectators, there just wasn’t enough shelter for all of the people involved, Bancheri said.

He expressed thanks to the Spring Lake Yacht Club and the local communities for all the work they put into the event.

“It’s amazing how great this community is,” he said.

Bancheri said it hurts to cancel the event.

“We’ve all worked for it. Everyone looks forward to the Lubbers Cup,” he said. “It’s a well-run and fun event. But nothing replaces the safety of the athletes.”

Bancheri said the event would not be rescheduled this year because the teams are all committed to other races in the coming weekends.

Scheduled to compete with host team Grand Valley, were Case Western, Drake, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Minnesota, Michigan State University, University of Notre Dame, Ohio State University and Purdue. 

Grub and Brew Fest

The Grub and Brew Fest, held in conjunction with the Lubbers Cup, will be held from 4-8 p.m. Saturday in a tent at Old Boys’ Brewhouse, at the west end of Spring Lake Village.

Grub competitors are: Jack’s Waterfront Bistro, Old Boys’ Brewhouse, Quality Catering by August, The Paisley Pig, Righteous Cuisine, Anything Goes, Toasted Pickle and Rykes Bakery.

The brew competitors are: Pigeon Hill, Old Boys’, Grand Armory, Farmhaus Cider, Trail Point, Boatyard Brewing, Odd Side Ales, Cheboygan Brewing, Beards Brewing and Virtue Cider.

Dave Palmer & His Only Friends will provide entertainment.

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