PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s a Philadelphia tradition. Thousands of college rowers and spectators are packing Kelly Drive for the 73rd Aberdeen Dad Vail regatta.

For a collegiate crew team, it doesn’t get any more intense than the Dad Vail.

“We come every year. It’s our biggest race of the season, so it’s pretty exciting.” Emily Hrichak, the coxswain for the Lehigh University team, says it’s a challenge keeping her rowers focused because there’s so much more adrenaline at the Dad Vail.

“There definitely is. I mean, it’s hard to calm them down. Especially when they start the race. Because they’re so excited to be here and there are just so many fast crews and so many people, it makes them so excited to race.”

About 3,000 rowers from 100 colleges are competing — including local teams from Temple, Villanova and LaSalle.

The Dad Vail has been held on the Schuylkill River since 1953, surviving a threatened move to New Jersey last year.

Reported by Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio

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