LA JOLLA, Calif. - UC San Diego will return its boats to the water Saturday as the Triton rowers gear up to compete in the Berg Cup, hosted by Orange Coast College in Newport Beach. UCSD will race seven boats against a field comprised of defending champion Orange Coast College, Loyola Marymount, UC Irvine, Chapman and Long Beach State.
The Tritons will have their work cut out for them, as they prepare to face Orange Coast College this weekend. The OCC crew team won both the Berg Cup and the San Diego Crew Classic last year.
"We could win," said Triton head coach Pattie Pinkerton. "If we row today's or yesterday's crew, we could win."
The seven Triton boat entrants will include a varsity eight, second varsity eight, novice eight, second novice eight, two varsity four and novice four boats. At last year's Berg Cup, UCSD sent only three boats, not including the varsity eight, which was racing at the Division II Florida Duals the same weekend.
Coach Pinkerton is confident in her squad's rate of improvement so far this season, suggesting this could be a breakout regatta for the Tritons.
"So far we've been working on the base, which takes a lot of time to establish, and we're just now starting the speed work," Pinkerton said. "We've been working on our confidence and getting the blade in, so we're moving forward."
UCSD last raced at the Sacramento Invite on March 10, where the Tritons were competitive with several established Northern California crews. In the varsity eight race, UCSD was neck-and-neck with defending NCAA third place winner Humboldt State for a good portion of the contest.
"[At the Sacramento Invite] we were on pace at 1000 meters, up there with Humboldt. Then we tightened up," said Pinkerton.
The Tritons cite confidence and finding their flow as two keys for victory on Saturday.
"We're hoping we'll nail the speed work with confidence and verve," Pinkerton said. "We gotta find that sweet spot."
The first race of the Berg Cup is set to start at 8 a.m. on Saturday in Newport Beach.