California State University, Long Beach

Head of the Harbor Wraps up Fall Season

Saturday, 3. December 2016

Photo by Hope Wilkinson. USS Iowa towering over LBS Varsity 8A

By Sean McCrea

Men’s Varsity Rower

Larger than life container ships less than 100 yards to my left. The Vincent Thomas Bridge staring at me in the distance ahead. On the shore to my right is the decommissioned World War II Battleship the USS Iowa. An overwhelming sense of gratitude takes over my consciousness as I sit in awe, awaiting the start of the final race of the fall season. Regatta officials are yelling out commands to surrounding boats trying to get them lined up for the start of the race. 12 boats in total, all bunched up in the channel previously described. Santa Barbara, USC, San Diego State, and Long Beach all sending multiple 4+’s out to race on a gloomy Sunday morning. Rain begins to fall just before the race starts, it doesn’t matter… we’re focused, we’re strong, we’re ready.

Photo by Hope Wilkinson. Novice 4A

Photo by Hope Wilkinson. Varsity 4A with Santa Barbara bow

Head of the Harbor about is about as straight of a course as it gets for head racing, and the distance is around 4800 meters. 1500 meters into the race Santa Barbara is closing in on us like they were shot out of a cannon. Their bow ball is on our stern deck and I can hear their coxswain calling power fives and demanding her rowers to bring up the power to pass us. Had I moved my eyes to left a millimeter I would have been able to tell you the color of her eyes, but by this time in the race I was seeing tunnel vision. I knew that I could not afford to take one stroke off or I run the risk of letting down my teammates behind me who are all working just as hard, if not harder than I to not let this boat physically pass us. We counter every attempt to pass by Santa Barbara by powering up with them, their coxswain is getting frustrated. This is a battle of will, determination, and effort, and it goes on for roughly 12 minutes. With 1000 meters to go we close in on USC and San Diego State, who were both sent off before us. I can now hear USC’s coxswain, Santa Barbara’s coxswain, our coxswain, Nikki Jenkins, and our teammates and friends screaming “GOOO BEEAACCCHH!!!” from the boat launching dock on the shore to the right. The sound of our 4 oar locks popping together in stereo keeps my breathing rhythm synchronized with each stroke. We bring up the rate and the power and the tunnel I’m looking through is getting smaller and smaller. Pulling away from Santa Barbara and gaining ground on USC with each stroke and my whole body is on fire. We now have overlap with our bow ball on the stern deck of USC. Nate, Dylan, Ibrahim, Nikki, and myself are giving it everything we’ve got, this is the last competitive collegiate race Nate and Dylan will ever have and we are not about to give up anything! Nikki calls another power 10 and we fly across the finish line on the last strokes, simultaneously running completely out of energy. We held our ground.

That was the open 4+’s race, LBS men’s 4A+ finished 5th of 12 with a time of 18:06. The 4B+ finished 9th of 12 with an 18:51. The novice 4A was 12 of 12 with a 22:41, but to their credit, they  just finished the novice 8+ event, rowed to the dock, got into the 4+, rowed to the start, and raced a field of fresh varsity crews. They would have done much better had the circumstances been different. The novice 4B+ did not make it to the start in time and were disqualified. In the varsity 8+’s event the 8A+ got 7th of 10 with a 17:20 and the 8B+ finished 9th of 10 with an 18:00 flat. The novice 8A+ was missing one of their fastest oarsmen, Chris Innes, but they picked up the slack and finished strong, getting 4th of 17 with a 17:49. Novice 8B+ finished 15 of 17 with a 20:45.

We may not have come home with any medals this year at Head of the Harbor, but Long Beach State Rowing came home holding its head high. We left everything out on the water that day, as we always do on race day, and look forward to meeting these crews again in the spring for 2k season.

Photo by Hope Wilkinson. Novice 8

Photo by Hope Wilkinson. Novice 8

Varsity Men’s Last Race of Fall Season Ends with a Bang, Literally

Friday, 21. November 2014

Photo by Ariana Gastelum

Photo by Ariana Gastelum

At last weekend’s regatta, Head of the Harbor, the varsity men’s race experienced a series of unfortunate events including a broken footplate and a seat popping off the tracks. Coach Robert Edwards immediately investigated what happened after the race and discussed it with his rowers, motivating them to redeem themselves in the spring.


By Brad McCormick

Varsity Rower

I love being in a boat. I love when we’re on the water during a race, the focus in the boat and the competition when you can see the boats around you. However, the Head of the Harbor race at the Port of LA last weekend proved to be quite the opposite, unfortunately. The race, which is 5000 meters long, proved to be challenging for the men’s varsity boat because of a multitude of incidents. Not even 500 meters into the race, the support boards underneath the shoes of my footplate snapped in half. This means that for the remaining 4500 meters of the race the “drive” of my stroke compared to jumping off a trampoline…

Then, as we approached the bridge on the course, the seat of my teammate in bow came off the track, causing him to attempt to put the seat back on for the last 100 meters. It’s frustrating having these things happen, feeling that ineffective, and seeing the boats around you just walk away.The only thing I could truly focus on at this point was staying in time with the guys sitting stroke pair, using just my arms and body to get the strongest stroke I could produce even through the lack of support in my feet, which led to distracting leg cramps. If I learned anything from this race, it’s that rowing truly is a mental sport.

The whole time I was racing, I was so frustrated that these things were happening, yet I pushed through the pain and dissatisfaction anyway. I realized later though, that in reality, these things were events that I couldn’t control and that there is an importance in keeping boats in good shape, making sure that all the boat parts are in racing condition. Altogether, what I took away from this race is that although these incidents suck, they happen. And even though there will be these frustrations, there isn’t anything that will deter my love for being in a boat. We will only go up from here.

Beach Claims Two Titles at USC’s Head of the Harbor

Monday, 18. November 2013


In a series of 5k sprints down the channels of the Port of Los Angeles, The Beach took away two wins in the 2nd and 3rd Novice events at USC’s annual Head of the Harbor.

The official results have been posted to Row2k.