Crew Team Holds Strong in Newport Beach

WOMEN’S CREW — Finally starting to come together as a group, the UCSD women’s crew team turned in promising results this weekend at its last regatta before conference championships.

At the Berg Cup in Newport Beach on April 10, the Tritons’ novice four-boat crossed the finish line in first place. Earlier, the varsity eight-boat finished fourth after being narrowly edged out by UC Santa Barbara. The novice eight-boat only finished fourth after being forced to overcome an official’s mistake at the start of the race.

In the varsity eight race, the University of San Diego pulled away early, leaving UCSB and host Orange Coast College to battle for second place. UCSB fought back and forth with the Tritons throughout the middle of the race, but managed to pull ahead in the final sprint to take second.

Nevertheless, senior captain Jesi Bennett said she was impressed with her team’s ability to hold up against stiff competition.

“It was a good one,” Bennet said. “We haven’t been losing by a whole lot, but we haven’t been jelling as a group. We’re finally doing what we need to do personally in order to do well.”

She said the Tritons’ success can be attributed to a strengthening of their chemistry.

“Even though we’re supposed to row as a boat instead of eight individuals, we’ve refocused on the fact that we all have a personal duty to make the boat go faster in a more efficient way,” Bennett said.

The Tritons were set behind in the novice eight race before they even started moving. While the starter is required to wait for each crew to ready itself before starting the race, the official failed to notice that the Triton boat was chalked on a buoy, and began the race anyway.

As a result, the Tritons faced a severe disadvantage, but were still able to keep their composure and finish the race strong.

The novice four race went much more smoothly: The boat earned UCSD’s only outright victory of the day.

“I am very proud of them,” head coach Pattie Pinkerton said. “It was a very strong field. They came from behind and rode with quite a bit of poise to take the race.”

UCSD’s final race will be at the conference championships in three weeks.

Pinkerton said she is hopeful after her squad’s performance on Saturday.

“We’ve had a race plan, and we’ve been struggling with executing it,” Pinkerton said. “But we’re very happy that all the things we’ve been working toward are starting to come together.”

Leading up to championships the Tritons will race at the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Associate Championships on May 1 to May 2 in Sacramento.

Readers can contact Liam Rose at [email protected].