Every year the Aztecs take a select group to the Head of the American in Sacramento, CA for our first race of the season. This year the boats selected were the Novice 8+, Varsity 8+ and the Varsity lightweight 4, we also brought a spare from the novice as well as a spare from the varsity. The week leading up to the race was filled with racing protocol for the novice and some fine tuning on the varsity side and we are pleased to say that the hard work paid off. We like to bring a Novice boat to this event every year to expose the newcomers to a large regatta and show them that everything they have been working on is necessary for success. We also like to use this regatta to see where our varsity is starting out and be able to identify our strengths and weaknesses.
Because we graduated 6 seniors last season, we have been making many adjustments on the varsity side since we began in August. We had a little bit of a slow start but once the ball got rolling it was obvious our current quad is honoring those seniors with a strong work ethic and team cohesion. Going into the Head of the American, we were eager to see where we stacked up and we are pleased to say that we finished above our expectations. We do not normally field lightweight boats in the Fall but because of the current talent, it was hard to pass up. With one senior, two sophomores and a junior in the light 4+, they crossed the finish line in second place, just seconds off of first place. Needless to say, a close second is a tough pill to swallow and those athletes are hungry to have another opportunity to show their ability again, all puns intended.
The Novice team this year would make any Aztec proud; proving to be not only great teammates but strong competitors. In their debut race, the green crew; fielded entirely of walk-ons, was able to come in 5th place overall. As the boat came off the water, it was clear that they had put everything on the water and that they had an excellent race. With over half the novice team staying in San Diego, we are excited to see how competitive that boat gets.
The Varsity 8+ event was a competitive field this year, with 6 Cal boats entered, we knew it was going to be a fast event. The Aztec boat had made changes the entire week prior with a final line-up only practicing twice together and three athletes doubling from the light 4 event. The crew looked long and fast crossing the finish line in 13th place overall out of a 30 boat race, and pulling a time over 30 seconds faster than last year. Personally, I believe this weekend was a true threshold, and we sailed right through it.
A great big thank you to all the parents and friends who came out to support and feed the team! We hope to see you all and more this Saturday in Long Beach.
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