At the Head of the Marina, head coach Pattie Pinkerton entered boats in the Collegiate Eight, Collegiate Women's Four and Collegiate Novice Eight events. The Triton crews battled boat traffic, winds and ocean swells in the 4,500-meter race on Marina Del Rey Harbor in Los Angeles County, but still came away with some impressive results on the day.
UCSD's top boat finished second in the Collegiate Eight with a time of 20:47.0, while its second boat came in third at 21:22.0. The top boat from Oklahoma won the race at 18:28.0. The Tritons paced the Sooners in the early stages of the race, but lost them on the turn home.
UCSD finished fifth in the Collegiate Women's Four event, clocking in with a final time of 22:04.0. While the Tritons finished off the pace of both boats from UCLA and Oklahoma, they finished well in front of crews from Arizona State and Loyola Marymount. UCLA's top boat clocked in at 19:38.0 to win the race.
The Tritons placed third in the Collegiate Novice Eight, finishing within striking distance of UCLA's two boats and in front of boats from Oklahoma and Loyola Marymount. UCSD clocked in at 20:36.0 finishing behind UCLA's A boat (19:05.0) and B boat (20:14.0) in the final standings.
"I was expecting some nerves as this was the first fall travel regatta for the majority of our very young team," Pinkerton said after Saturday's races. "I thought they handled the conditions and the challenges well and frankly, I'm astonished at the strength of our performances. The crews didn't feel like they raced their best, but they handled the wet conditions with maturity and mixed it up with a strong field, producing some great results."
The Tritons saw some of the same crews on Sunday at the Newport Autumn Rowing Festival on Newport Harbor. UCSD entered boats in the Open Eight, the Freshman Eight and the Open Four events on a rainy, dreary day in Orange County.
In the Varsity Eight race, the Tritons' A boat finished a disappointing 24th of 28 in a powerful field that included multiple entries from Oklahoma, UCLA, Stanford, San Diego, Gonzaga and San Diego State, as well as regional rivals Arizona State, UC Santa Barbara, Long Beach State, UC Irvine, Orange Coast College and Chapman.
UCSD's lead boat struggled to regain its rhythm after dealing with traffic in one of the turns and finished with a time of 20:39. The huge bright spot was the Second Varsity boat, which finished seven spots in front of the A boat with a time of 19:35.
The Freshman Eight squad was powering through its race when it was hit by another crew, bringing both to a dead stop. Two other crews got tangled in the mess, which cost valuable time to get free and back on course. Despite the fiasco, the Tritons finished 12th of 22 teams, within a boat-length of Stanford and the University of San Diego B crew.
In the Open Four, UCSD fielded a Lighweight Four boat which finished 13th among a strong field of open groups. Stanford, Loyola Marymount, Oklahoma and the University of San Diego owned the first 10 places. UC Santa Barbara and LMU B took 11th and 12th and UC San Diego was 13th at 23:22, well ahead of UCSB B and Cal Maritime, which rounded out the field.
"This is a challenging course with a great field," said Pinkerton. "I'm pleased with our performances. We are still working on blending an incredibly strong recruiting class with our Varsity, and we only have a few weeks to work with line-ups. My main goal is to build a solid platform for our spring racing, and these races have been eye-opening."
UCSD completes its fall season with the San Diego Fall Classic Nov. 13 on Mission Bay.
- UCSDtritons.com -