Coming off of a dominating performance at their first event of the year, the UW women’s rowing team is expecting to have a successful season.At the Milwaukee River Challenge, which took place after only two weeks of practice for the Badgers, the fours competed first capturing the top five spots, while the three other boats placed in the top 20.As for the eights, the four boats competing grabbed the top four finishing spots.Other than a great start, the Badgers have a lot to be excited about this season. “I think things are going very well especially with our first year in the boathouse,” head coach Bebe Bryans said. “It makes everything easier, especially for the novices.”The Badgers will spend their first full season in the brand new Porter Boathouse on Lake Mendota that was officially opened Apr. 22. The boathouse is a three-story, state-of-the-art facility at the end of Babcock Drive. The 52,000-square-foot crew house includes an impressive moving water rowing tank, workout rooms, sports medicine facilities, the program’s Hall of Fame, team locker rooms and coach/staff offices.In addition, the lightweight eight varsity team, coached by Mary Shofner, is the reigning national champion two times over, having won the NCAA Division I women’s lightweight eight national title in 2004 and 2005.”The open weights are hoping to join the lightweights who have set the standard for what can come out of this boathouse,” Bryans said.With the stern three rowers of the last two championship teams graduating last year, the Badgers will have big shoes to fill, but Bryans called this the “beauty of rowing.” She said, “There isn’t just one [rower,] it’s a team effort, and you need to be strong top to bottom.”This season the team will be racing a lot more than last year, especially in the spring, with hopes that their ability to work hard all season will pay off in the end.”We have a really good schedule, competing against the [varsity open weight] national champions (University of California-Berkeley) two times this year at the Crew Classic and then again in Indiana,” Bryans said. “Last year four schools in the Big Ten went to the national championships and we will be racing all of them, so we’ll be ready.”To prepare for this strong competition, Bryan wants a more aggressive approach to the team’s racing this season.”I think it will be a natural progression from the work we did last year … and we want to be faster, it’s simple,” she said.With high hopes of a three-peat for the lightweight team and hopefully a championship for the open weight team for the first time in a while, the Badgers are looking good early on and appear poised to do great things this season.Saturday the Badgers can be seen participating in Class Day Races, a traditional event in which current rowers, broken down by class, race against alumni boats.Oct. 1 also marks the 10th anniversary of the founding of UW-Madison’s lightweight program which has seen much national success in its first ten years including second place finishes in 2001 and 2002, a third place finish in 2003, and back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005.Wisconsin will be back in action competitively Oct. 9 in Rockford Illinois at the 20th Annual Head of the Rock Regatta.
While tonight’s other first leg sees Borussia Dortmund play host to Manchester City’s conquerors, Monaco.Both games kick off at 7.45. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he’s worried their season is drifting away from them.A 3-0 defeat away to Crystal Palace leaves the Gunners seven-points adrift of the Champions League places.The meeting of the reigning Italian and Spanish champions is the highlight of the first night of Champions League quarter final action.Juventus meet Barcelona in Turin.
Rarely a week goes by where another sports club doesn’t reveal its new involvement in esports. Esports Insider’s Super Forum on the 22nd March at the home of the Premier League champions Chelsea will bring together the brightest minds in the industry to analyse, dissect and discuss the opportunities for those who still remain scared to take the plunge into the wonderful world of esports.With 2018 seeing the launch of an expanded FIFA esports scene, the inaugural NBA 2K League and a step up in the likes of Madden esports, sports simulation titles are clearly on the rise as competitive gaming titles. Additionally, 2018 will see the launch of the Overwatch League and North American League of Legends Championship Series franchise systems which are both inundated with backing from traditional sports. It’s clear now that esports is something that is not being ignored and clubs and sports stakeholders are eager to get involved. The scale of investment varies from signing a FIFA player all the way through to a (rumoured) $20 million investment for an OWL franchise spot.The Esports Insider team has put together a formidable team of top speakers to provide invaluable information as to the benefits of diversification into esports from a sports club perspective. Confirmed speakers include Nikolaj Nyholm, the CEO and Founder of RFRSH Entertainment, the organisation behind Astralis. RFRSH has successfully engineered some of the most notable non-endemic sponsorship deals in esports to date, with Audi and CocoFuzion amongst an ever-growing list of big name brands getting involved with esports teams.Other names include Colin Johnson, the Head of FIFA at Fnatic. Fnatic recently partnered with Italian giant A.S. Roma to introduce esports to the club and the unique partnership sees the Fnatic logo feature in the middle of the iconic A.S. Roma jersey. One would expect more similar partnerships between endemic esports organisations and traditional sports clubs in the coming year, and there’s few better to discuss the ins and outs of such than Johnson.Ben Woodward, Director and Co-Founder of Code Red Esports will be on hand to discuss the agencies work with the London Spitfire Overwatch League team as well as his experience assisting traditional sports clubs delve into the esports space. Code Red is a leading agency, spearheaded by effervescent esports host and commentator Paul “Redeye” Chaloner that continues to provide solid consultancy work to those looking to break into the space.Other speakers include Ginx.TV host and presenter Heather “Naysayerz” Dower, ESL UK Managing Director James Dean, Team Vitality CEO Nicolas Maurer, Swipe Right PR Founder Kirsty Endfield, Sportego CEO Trev Keane and the Commissioner of the Esports Integrity Coalition Ian Smith. There’s plenty more speakers to come too as the one day event at Stamford Bridge looks to help educate the wider sports world through the opinions and experiences of the very best.There’s set to be six panels and workshops with over 25 speakers in total, as well as an esports business exhibition zone and ample opportunity for networking, meetings, tournaments and there will be refreshments throughout the day. Attendees will also be welcomed to the official after party which runs until late.The conference will be run alongside the SBC Betting on Football 2018 conference, and as such will see several stakeholders from a similar world in attendance at the ESI Super Forum including representatives from some of Europe’s top football clubs.For more information and to purchase tickets for the event please click here.