By Marissa Long
This past weekend our Men’s Crew competed in an eight at UCI’s 2023 California Challenge Cup, located in Newport Bay. The day before the race, crew members moved and rigged their boat the KillaGrams, at Newport Aquatic Center. They were able to practice on the course with race
starts and high twenty strokes. Novice coxswain, Emaela, was instructed on race strategies and calls by coaches and varsity team members to help her prepare for the unfamiliar course. The team had been practicing for this competition all week with a decrease in intensity. The day before the race team captain and stroke seat, Ron, stated that he was ” optimistic and confident about this weekend.”
The weather on race day was mild with a slight current. The course was approximately fourteen hundred meters and they competed in dual races against the University of California Irvine, Loyola Marymount University, and San Diego State University. Their first race was against UCI. Because of the current, it took some time to get an alignment, which resulted in a staggered start. UCI’s crew beat Long Beach by about twelve seconds, with our finish time at four minutes and forty seconds. In the second race against LMU, the crews had an easier time getting a point for the race. LMU won against Long Beach by about thirteen seconds. Long Beach finished that race with a time of four minutes and forty-five point two seconds.
The final race was against SDSU, and the crews raced for shirts, meaning that the winning crew for this race would claim the other team’s school shirts. Long Beach State started strong, with the announcer on the race live stream describing the KillaGrams as, ” flying off the starting line with a purpose.” Both boats’ rates were in the high thirties, but Long Beach really boosted the pressure on this one. They steadily inched forward on SDSU, starting at a couple of seats in front, to having our coxswain at their bow. We were able to win the race with a time of four minutes and thirty-eight point five seconds, beating SDSU by about three seconds. It was an intense and close race that bolstered the whole team’s confidence.
Photo Credit: Guillermo Boppell