Sunday the 15th wrapped up the Aztecs formal 2015 racing season with the Fall Classic regatta. The 6,000 meter course held on our own home turf included two hard starboard turn and one hard port turn, not to mention two bridges and a lot of buoys to maneuver. In true head race fashion, the stress of the participants seemed to hover around the dreaded “penalty”; a one minute docket for even minor offenses. After watching many skilled coxswains and crews cut corners and receive penalties, it was certainly a weight on my mind as the Aztecs fielded 6 crews in the regatta. We are pleased to say that all six of our coxswains (three varsity and three novice), flew the course with exceptional precision and not one fault. Coxswains are often only recognized when they make a mistake but this was truly a coxswains race and our young women in the driver’s seat owned it!
The first event of the day was the “Men’s open 8+” we entered both a V8 and a JV8 in this event in a field of 22 and finished 5th and 13th respectfully (according to the initial times). In our peer’s category of other club teams, we are third to UCSB and OCC, always fast competitors. Both the V8 and JV were happy with their rowing. We can see that we are on the radar of the fastest club teams in the nation and we can only get faster from here. The next event was the “Men’s Light 8”, with only us and CSULB in the event, we were determined to show our strength as a Varsity boat, with or without the “lightweight”categorization. Our 165lb athletes excelled, posting a time over 2minutes faster than their competitors and ranking them amongst the heavyweights as well.
The Novice fleet was entered in one Novice 8’s event. We sent off an A, B and C boat in a field of 12. Our A boat finished 5th (4th pending a course violation from a competitor). The B boat, who has made astounding improvements in the last 2 weeks finished 7th and the C boat finished 9th overall, placing them 2nd amongst their peers of “C” boaters. This is the first event for both the Novice B and C boats and I must say, they were different men when they landed on shore. Their indoctrination to racing was met with fierce rowing, merciless coxing and all smiles on their return. Needless to say, our Novice squad this year is deep!
We had great support at the event, met many new parents and welcomed our veteran regatta goers. A big thanks to Eric and Marisa Barge for feeding the squad; not a small task. Another thanks to Aaron Pollock who drove down from LA just to show his support. Lastly, a thank you to our Associated Students Supervisor; Pam Mahlow, who works outside the box to support our program and who attended the regatta with her beautiful puppy.
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Coach Julia Gamache