Long Beach State’s Rowing Club had a rough start into its competitive season as they won only one out of three races on Saturday morning’s California Challenge Cup in Newport Beach.
Live streamed for audiences unable to attend, LBSU set off to start its first race against University of California, Irvine. Trying to outstroke them, it gave The Beach a decent lead at the start of the race.
The team used up all their energy at the beginning and didn’t conserve enough for the finish, leaving Long Beach in defeat at a 12 second disadvantage.
“That’s when our strategy kind of started falling apart,” novice rower Suki Sra said.
With their legs burning, LBSU recuperate and learn from their mistakes upon their second race with Loyola Marymount University.
The crew had to tone down their energy and not get too excited with the strokes. But with their speed, it wasn’t enough to catch up to LMU’s lead since the start of the race, losing with a 13 second disadvantage.
Despite the loss, veteran rower Andres Boppell believes that it was all a matter of “improvement” for the team.
LBSU’s final race was where the crew’s improvements started to shine, racing against San Diego State University and maintained a close lead apart
In the middle of the race, one of the The Beach’s crew members blade on their oar got stuck in the water, causing problems for the boat and its men.
“Fortunately the team had composure and they were able to pull it back and we held them off,” rowing coach Scott Erwin said.
As they rowed in unison and conserved their energy, Long Beach took the win with under a three second advantage.
Sra says the two races they went through were enough to wake them up and get it together.
Though they were only able to get one win out of those three races, more training is needed if the crew is able to catch up with the rival schools, should they race them again.
“A lot more sprinting practices are needed but other than that I think we got the power. We just need to organize it a little better,” Sra said.
The SDSU crew handed their team shirts to LBSU as a sign of respect and good game for getting the best of them.
Rowing club president Ronald Reyes says that SDSU has always been an even rival for The Beach.
“It’s a first time a lot of the guys have won shirts, so that’s always a good feeling,” Reyes said.