By Sean McCrea
Men’s Varsity Rower
SoCal sunshine in November, oarsmen and women pulling their hearts out on the water, endless pancakes, gold medals, The Queen Mary Trophy, and champagne being poured over the bow of the John Cashman by former LBS and US Men’s National team Olympic lightweight rower John Cashman, add all of these together and you’ve got yourself quite the afternoon. That is exactly what it was for Long Beach State Rowing on November 19th, 2016 at the Naples Island Collegiate Rowing Challenge, AKA the Pancake Regatta.
NICRC is a unique regatta. It starts with the head race around Naples Island, has a small break which is when the pancakes are served, the medal ceremony takes place, and this year the boat dedication. And is concluded with the novice sprints, an 850m all out sprint race. It serves as an opportunity for novice coxswains to get a taste of things to come for the upcoming spring sprint season, as well as a chance for some LB alumni to get on the water for some fun. I remember thinking I was a hot shot novice year going into this regatta and talking trash with my then novice coach John Fliestra. He was stroking the alumni boat lined up right next to my novice boat. Needless to say, his boat smoked ours.
Photo Credit: Val Stepanchuk
As I said earlier, it was a good day for LBS rowing. The men’s novice and varsity took home gold in the 8+’s and 4+’s events. The wins gave Long Beach enough points to take home the Queen Mary Trophy which is awarded to the school with the most overall points from all races. The varsity men had it easy as they were the only varsity men’s crew even entered in the Regatta, Chapman did enter a 4+ but had to scratch the lineup before the race. The novice men edged out UCLA and UCSB for their victories. The women had a tough opponent in UCSB and came up short this time, but they will bounce back, they’re a resilient bunch.
NICRC was a well organized Regatta and we at Long Beach State are extremely grateful for the opportunity to participate. We are also very thankful for all of the people working hard behind the scenes to make days like this possible. Hopefully there will be many more to come!