The Aztecs started their morning on the tails of daylight savings Sunday morning March 13th and despite the early day, the team was in great spirits and handled the time difference very well. As the team arrived at the beautiful Chapman boathouse, so did the fog which postponed racing for one hour. The team, again, showed great perseverance and stayed focused on the goals of the day. As the fog cleared, the races started quickly and efficiently; hosts Orange Coast were more than prepared to run a smooth race.
The Newport regatta has for years been a wonderfully challenging race where the team can truly see where they stand in terms of speed and proficiency. The regatta has always fielded some of the fastest ACRA crews in the country as well as some very fast IRA crews. We are fortunate to be welcomed back to this regatta year after year by hosts OCC and we look forward to continuing a positive relationship with the organizers.
The first event of the day was the Novice 4, with almost 100% of the same personnel as the successful N4 that dominated the Lake Las Vegas event last weekend. This weekend, the boat was able to place third overall. The novice 4 is made up of all walk on athletes who have been on the squad since the Fall. Coach Craig is happy with the ability of these athletes and was happy with the result. After the race, they were able to identify where they can improve and Coach Craig, as well as the athletes are eager to see how fully they can reach their great potential. The Novice 8 was next on the schedule, with a boat comprised of 3 spring recruits; they showed how much they have improved the last week. The coaches are excited that the improvements continue to be huge week after week and are looking forward to two weeks off of racing to focus on training.
The JV 8 was the first varsity event the Aztecs participated in and they were able to hang in the middle of the pack until the last 500 meters when they unfortunately lost their rhythm. The crew was still in contact with the pack at the finish with a fast time of 6:32.9. The varsity boat has been practicing with some very different line-ups this last week; between injuries and illnesses, coach Julia was given the opportunity to try out some big changes. As these things tend to happen,she found an almost “jackpot” lineup. The V8 has had a goal of being a sub 6:10 crew by the end of the season. This time would be a great step in the right direction as every year seems to be. The boat was able to clock a 6:13.4, coming in around 2 seconds ahead of UCLA. Having this boat be middle of the pack with such fast crews, is exactly what we need to feed the fire within this crew.
We are very excited about this year moving forward and want to give a special thanks to our alumni and friends who came to support us. I believe the Aztecs were the only crew who had this kind of support; not often do you see alumni carrying novice oars. This is Aztec Crew and THANK YOU!