NEWPORT BEACH -- Three races, three wins for the Orange Coast College men's crew, as the Pirates swept past UC Irvine to win the 2019 Collins Cup on Saturday morning, reclaiming the cup for the second year in a row the third in four meetings.
"The Collins Cup is always a great event with close racing between OCC and UC Irvine," OCC head coach Cam Brown said. "As we expected, UC Irvine were well prepared in all events and made us work hard for every result. Happily, we were able to win each race and the tightness of the results will prepare us well as we head into the WIRA Championships."
In the Novice 4 race, both the Pirates and Anteaters featured two boats and in the end, the two OCC squads crossed the finish line ahead of UCI, with the Pirate "A" boat winning the 2,000-meter race with a time of 7 minutes, 5.2 seconds, while the OCC "1" boat was five seconds off the pace with a time of 7:10.6, followed by UCI "A" (7:24.4) and UCI "B" 8:09.9. "Our Novice squad has again showed great strength and depth - they will need to continue their focus and commitment to training as they head to their first collegiate championship race," Brown said.
In the Second Varsity 8 competition, OCC and UCI were neck and neck throughout the race, but in the end, the Pirates caught up and passed UCI with a solid time of 6:21.5, just ahead of the Anteaters' time of 6:23.3. OCC's Second Novice 8 boat also took part in the race and held their own, posting a time of 6:35.8. "The Second Varsity 8+ has been working hard and improving all season long - I am excited to watch them close out the season at the championship races," Brown said.
In the main event, the Varsity 8, it was another back-and-forth battle, with OCC holding a slim lead all of the way throughout the race. Finally, in the final 500 meters, Coast was able to extend its lead and took the top spot with a time of 6:06.0, just ahead of the Anteaters' time of 6:08.4. "The Varsity 8+ has continued to develop and progress all season, they will need to continue that development over the next two weeks," Brown said.
Coast will now turn its attention to the championship races, beginning with the Western Intercollegiate Rowing Association Championships (WIRA) on April 27-28 at Lake Natoma in Sacramento. "The regular season has been a very successful one for Coast Crew - we are looking forward to continue that success into our Championship races," Brown said.