By Ian Simpson
Women’s Head Coach
A good weekend of racing for the women’s team
The varsity squad had two days of racing, 850m sprints on Saturday and 4200m head races on Sunday. The format of the weekend’s races allowed us to try different combinations of rowers to see how they match up together, to gather information to assess what worked well and what we need to improve upon in training. We achieved so much more in these two days than we would have in two weeks of regular practices, where half the practice is conducted in the dark and the students need to rush away afterwards.
The varsity group had four sprint races on Saturday; there were no other women’s varsity teams, so we faced off against our own novice men and novices from the UCLA and USC men’s teams. Various combinations of the women’s eight performed well against the men, proving faster than USC and UCLA (who have been rowing for less than one month) and falling half a length short of the Long Beach men who look to have a strong team developing this year. In each of its four races, the women’s eight made significant improvement in the way they rowed technically and in the way they approached their races.
The varsity group raced the head races on Sunday; again with only men’s teams for competition. Using information from the previous day’s racing, the reshuffled eight had its best race of the weekend, rowing with consistency, long strokes and good rhythm for the entirety of the 4200m time trial.
After the eight we raced two fours and a pair. The pair and one of the fours hot-seated from out of the eight and immediately went back to the start to do the time trial again.
Against their respective world’s best times, the winning four was overall (men’s and women’s combined) the second fastest crew of the day, sandwiched between the two UCLA men’s varsity eights. The women’s eight was 4th overall, the pair 7th and the second four was 9th out of the 18 college boats that participated in the head races.
This was an invaluable weekend for the varsity women. Many lessons were learned, they rowed a lot of races and got in a lot of miles.
In Saturday’s sprints Long Beach had one novice eight competing against novices from Chapman, UC Irvine (3 eights) and Orange Coast College (2 eights). The novices had five races which gave us the opportunity to switch rowers around so that everyone got to race several times. Our novices are a little more advanced in their training than most of the other boats, several of whom were still at the rowing-by-sixes stage. The top OCC boat did race by all eight and was a good match up for the Long Beach crew, with Irvine’s sixes not too far behind. As always, the novice eights racing is sure to be fast and furious in the spring.
The novice women had a great time racing and all of them would have liked to have raced again on Sunday.
Everyone is looking forward to our next race in San Diego
Thank you to the alums who made this weekend of racing possible, and to the friends and relatives who came out to support the team this weekend. We hope to see you all in San Diego in two weeks.
Next up: San Diego Fall Classic, Sunday November 15th.