By Alex Sprouls ’19
The Saugatuck Rowing Club’s first varsity 8+ and second varsity 8+ boys’ and girls’ teams traveled to San Diego during the weekend of March 24 to compete in their first race this year, the annual San Diego Crew Classic.
“The Crew Classic is a super nice transition from the winter to the spring,” Sanna ten Cate ’18, member of the second girls’ varsity 8+ boat, said. “It also gives us a chance to see how teams are doing on the West Coast because obviously they’ve been out the whole winter season while we’ve been indoors.”
Due to the Saugatuck River being frozen during the winter, the team has been working indoors to build muscle through using ergs and lifting weights. The teams have been training outdoors for the past three weeks.
“In [the past three] weeks, we have fit in as much practice as we could,” Evan Shorrock ’19, member of the second girls’ varsity 8+ boat, said. “[We did this] because we are competing against some California teams who have been on the water all winter long and have already competed in several regattas this year.”
The race is an opportunity for rowers to get back on the water and scope out the competition for upcoming regattas, with the most important races being regionals and nationals, according to ten Cate.
The girls’ varsity 8+ boat has won the San Diego Crew Classic three years in a row and the second girls’ varsity 8+ boat won last year. In 2017, the boys’ varsity 8+ boat placed 12th and the second boys’ varsity 8+ boat won 10th.
“This race is always a great experience, no matter the result,” Harry Burke ’18, member of the first boys’ varsity 8+ boat, said. “We come out of it with a good idea of what we need to focus on moving forward, whether we get fourth or 14th.”