San Diego Crew Classic
April 1-2, 2017
Mission Bay, San Diego CA
– In the second sprint race of the season for the Michigan Wolverines, the 1V, 2V, and 1F flew out to San Diego to compete in the annual San Diego Crew Classic. Held since 1973, the regatta has hosted some of the best crews from across the country, and is reasonably considered one of the largest events in the world, hosting over 100 races and 4000 athletes over two days. Universities such as Cal Berkeley, Yale, Stanford, Santa Barbara, Orange Coast, Grand Valley, British Columbia, and more bring strong performances to this early season regatta in hopes of taking home the coveted Copley Cup for the 1V, Sharp Cabrillo Memorial Cup for the 2V, and the Derek Guelker Memorial Cup for the 1F.
Arriving on Thursday, the Michigan Men got settled in their hotels, and rested up for a double practice the following day. There, they prepared final lineups, performed their row-out, and prepped their respective race plans.
Saturday: The 1V was the first Michigan boat to race, starting at 8:24 am in the A Heat against Cal and UCSB. Because of the scarcity of overall entries in the event all crews that raced in the heat would advance to the final; however, finishing position was important in determining lanes. Michigan took second behind Cal with a time of 6:00.57, edging out UCSB by a seat of open water.
The 2V was next Michigan boat to go, starting at 9:36 am in the A Heat against Stanford, San Diego, UCSD, and Colorado. In this event, only the top two finishers qualified for the Grand Final to be held on Sunday. Michigan again came in second, this time behind a fast Stanford crew, but again with about a seat of open water over third place San Diego.
Finally, the 1F raced at 10:52 am in the A Heat against Santa Clara, Arizona, UCLA, and SDSU. Once more it was the case that only the top two finishers would move on to the Sunday Grand Final. Following a delayed breakage* call, the race was forced to start over, however, this did not deter the novice rowers who eventually finished first by about a half boat length of open water over Santa Clara.
Sunday: With all of the Michigan boats in the Grand Final of their respective events, goals were set realistically high; to put down a well-executed performance which could set the tone for the rest of the championship season.
The first Michigan final was for the 1F. Against Cal, Stanford, Orange Coast, British Columbia, and Santa Clara, Michigan placed fifth.
The second Michigan final was for the 2V. Against Cal, Yale, British Columbia, Stanford, and Santa Clara, Michigan placed third.
The last Michigan final was for the 1V. Against Cal, Yale, Stanford, University of Victoria, and UCSB, Michigan placed sixth.
Although the results in the novice and 1V event were not ideal, they are by no means indicators of trouble nor should they be viewed as impetus for panic. With more time on the water, strokes will sharpen up, timing will improve, scores will drop, and confidence will be built. We have no doubt that the San Diego Crew Classic was an important learning experience that we will not take lightly.
On a final note the team would like to thank the University of Colorado - Boulder and UC Davis for their selfless donation of equipment in the Novice Eight event. Without their help and cooperation it would have been significantly more difficult to get our 2V and 1V to their races. In the name of sportsmanship they have truly shown their characters and values as respective programs and individual rowers.
The team resumed on-the-water practice Tuesday and is currently preparing for Lubbers Cup at Grand Valley State University this upcoming weekend.