Orange Coast College's nationally ranked rowing team has a new racing shell made possible by $12,000 in alumni donations.
The new, eight-man shell was accepted last month by the college's current crew team and David A. Grant, college director of marine activities. The shell was christened the Connie Johnson, as a tribute to the college's 1971-81 boathouse rigger.
Johnson has retired because of health problems, but he is still a frequent visitor to the boathouse on Coast Highway in Newport Beach. "Connie is not only one of the best riggers we've ever had at the boathouse, but he is also much loved by the oarsmen here," Grant said.
"He took care of the equipment as well, if not better, than anyone we've had, but he did an even better job of taking care of the people in our program."
Although Orange Coast is a two-year community college, it has competed with major four-year universities in crew, winning many races. The college's crews have also been invited to races in England.