LA JOLLA, Calif. -
This weekend Mission Bay will be the hotspot for crews from all over the country, as it will play host to the 38th annual San Diego Crew Classic this weekend. The event features 90 races over two days of competition beginning Saturday, April 2. Competing close to home, the UC San Diego women's crew program will look to build off last week's performance in Florida.
Over 3,000 athletes from more than 100 universities, clubs and high school programs from across the United States will participate this weekend. This premier event was established in 1973 and has been the top regatta for rowing events on the West Coast ever since. The San Diego Crew Classic offers more than outstanding racing, as the weekend festivities including music, a trade show, food stands, a tailgate and alumni tents.
This weekend's regatta will mark the first time head coach Pattie Pinkerton's squad will be competing in local waters this season. She plans to send out five boats this weekend, fielding two entries in the Collegiate II/III/Club division and one in each of the Collegiate Novice, Novice B and Open races.
UCSD is the top seed in heat one. The Tritons will be racing alongside Orange Coast College, which won the Berg Cup last weekend, UC Irvine, Long Beach State, Chapman and UC Santa Barbara's "B" boat. In heat two, UCSD's second varsity eight will be racing against the top seeded UC Santa Barbara "A" boat, along with Sonoma State, Central Oklahoma and Mills College. Both crews will need to place in the top three to advance to the final on Sunday.
UCSD saw both UCSB, UCI and Long Beach State earlier this season, with the Gauchos winning four out of five races at the Long Beach Marine Stadium on March 5.
"This is quite a strong field with Orange Coast College winning the Berg Cup and Santa Barbara dominating Opening Day in Long Beach," Pinkerton said. "We've had some very close races with half the field, but we've been steadily improving and we plan to bring our 'A-game'' to the regatta."
Last weekend, the varsity took part in the Division II Florida Duels, where UCSD suffered a Friday loss to Florida Tech, but rebounded to defeat Barry University. The Tritons then fell to Nova Southeastern on the second day of competition.
The Tritons enter the weekend with a No. 8 national ranking in this week's CRCA/USRowing Coaches Poll. The ranking is based on UCSD's varsity eight and varsity four performances.
Racing is tentatively scheduled at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and 7:20 a.m. on Sunday. Races will begin near Sea World and the Ingraham Street Bridge. Crews will head north along Mission Bay for 2,000 meters, finishing at Crown Point Shores.
"It will be particularly sweet to race at home in front of our alumni, family and friends," Pinkerton added.
For more information on the Crew Classic, click here.