The UCSB men’s rowing team ended its fall season with a successful outing at the Head of the Harbor Regatta at the Port of Los Angeles on Sunday.
Boats in lineups for the first time this season were entered in the varsity 8+, junior varsity 8+ and lightweight 8+ divisions, along with two varsity 4+ teams and two novice 8+ teams.
“[The boats] raced in lineups so they could see where their efforts so far this year ranked them amongst the teams and where that collectively puts us in terms of boat speed,” Head Coach Desmond Stahl said. “Hopefully they’ll all use that knowledge to raise the bar higher individually and collectively in spring.”
The varsity 8+ crew was composed of the eight fastest rowers on the team and took first place, beating San Diego State, UCLA and host school USC.
“The varsity 8 weathered strong challenges… in the first half of the race, but they were able to pull clear later on,” Stahl said. “It was good to see them undergo a test and respond positively.”
Junior varsity 8+took first place as well, beating UCLA by one minute.
“It was a boat full of mostly second-years,” senior coxswain Steve Nino said. “It really emphasized the type of potential those guys are going to have one or two years from now.”
The lightweight 8+ placed second behind San Diego State.
Varsity 4+ “A” team sprinted past LMU’s top boats to place second, only behind UCLA. The varsity 4+ “B” team took fourth.
“Coming in with 700 meters, LMU had three boats at least 10 seconds ahead of [our “A” team],” Nino said. “Within that 700, we beat them. It was pretty fun to watch.”
The novice 8+ “A” team came in fourth and novice 8 “B” took third.
“Our novice crews showed promising speed, especially considering how few total strokes they’ve taken, but they also struggled in spots which cost them precious time,” Stahl said. “They’ll make huge strides forward over the winter months.”
After another triumphant weekend on the water, the men’s team is looking forward to winter season and beyond.
“We’re definitely feeling really confident going into winter training. The volume and intensity on the water is going to go up,” Clark said. “It’s where the championships are won.”
Santa Barbara is looking to carry its work ethic and confidence throughout the rest of the year with the hopes that the Gauchos will win a national title.
“It seems we’re the cream of the crop on the west coast in our division,” Clark said. “Our coach is pretty sure we’ll be competing for national titles as long as we perform consistently.”
The men’s team will continue its pursuit for a national championship at the Opening Day Race in Long Beach on March 1.
This article is an online exclusive and did not appear in a print edition of The Daily Nexus.