On Saturday, February 29th, Men’s crew began the racing season by competing in the California Challenge Cup, hosted by UC Irvine. The Henley-style regatta took place in Newport Beach, with spectators gathering at Marina Park for the morning and afternoon racing.
Two boats were entered for this event; LBSU A boat, with a lineup including two novices, and the LBSU B boat consisting of novices from the fall and spring semester.
Rowers and coxswains launched from the Newport Aquatic Center (NAC), paddling out to the channel between Lido Isle and the Balboa Peninsula. Both boats participated in four races or “flights”, each flight being a dual between competitors. The total distance for each race was approximately 1275 meters. Various levels of competition presented challenges to both crews. The LBSU A boat competed against UCLA A, SCU A, UCD A, and OCC B. LBSU B boat competed against UCI B, SCU C, USC B, and UCI B. Athletes progressed in the regatta based on a points system. Crews placing first in their duals would win an additional two points to their tally.
The novices began their morning in the LBSU B boat against UCI B at 8:20 am. Tough competition left the novices in second place with a time of 4:10.3, UCI B placed first with a time of 3:45.2.
Never discouraged, the novices continued to race with their best effort. At 10:10 am they raced with USC B. Success was on their side in this event; LBSU B came in first against USC, with a time of 4:13.8, USC B followed with a time of 4:18.6. The novices look forward to their next opportunity to race on the water.
LBSU A boat’s morning began at 7:45 am against UCLA’s A boat. UCLA took first with a time of 3:37.3, LBSU followed with a time of 3:52.9. Despite coming in second, LBSU set new personal records for their 1275-meter time.
LBSU A’s final race against OCC B set a new tone for Men’s Crew. The boats were bow ball to bow ball for the first half of the race, with LBSU creeping forward in the first 500 meters. Ultimately, OCC B had the advantage and placed first with a time of 3:50.4. However, LBSU chased at their heels with a final time of 3:53.2. The rowers achieved splits as low as 1:25 in the first 30 strokes of the race. “The A boat exceeded expectations”, commented head coach Mike Long, “our final race against OCC had us bow to stern decking which hasn’t happened in a decade. Well rowed!”.
The final placement for LBSU B was 21st out of 22, LBSU A placed 15th out of 22. Although neither boat proceeded to finals, the rowers set times the program hasn’t seen in years. Additionally, the competition was stacked against Men’s Crew, Mike Long reflected, “we had an exceedingly fast flight during our round robin racing. Six out of eight boats in our heats (for both LBSU A and B) made the Cup finals. Three Cup-winning boats came out of our heat”. Long Beach took the opportunity to perform outside of competitors’ expectations, the team expects to continue breaking records all season.
Men’s Crew will be participating in USC Dual March 7th and UCLA Classic March 8th. Check back next week for more updates!
For a closer look at racing times visit – https://clockcaster.com/e/28