Notre Dame Men's Rowing kicked off the spring season this past weekend at the San Diego Crew Classic. Below are two reflections written by varsity rower Johnathan Beldin, and novice Alex Kiess, on their experiences at the Crew Classic.
"This past weekend, the Varsity 8+ travelled to San Diego to compete alongside very strong competition from the West Coast at the San Diego Crew Classic. The entire team was excited to get started with the race season in the beautiful California sunshine. As a first-timer to the Crew Classic, I had a great experience racing at one of the largest regattas in the country. Our opening race of the season provided insight on how our crew is currently performing against some of the country’s top collegiate programs and allowed us to develop our race plan into a more effective strategy for the upcoming races this season. Following Saturday’s heats, the boat revisited our race strategy to row faster on Sunday. In the final, a poor lane draw and gusty winds created choppy conditions for the boat as we made our way down the course. Though our results were not entirely where we desired them to be entering the regatta, we defeated a number of varsity programs and were able to see just how much potential our season has and what the crew needs to improve on as we enter the heart of our spring season. The Crew Classic provided the team with excellent racing experience to take back to the St. Joe and motivation to keep pulling hard as we get closer and closer to ACRA."
- Jonathan Beldin, 5 seat of the V8.
"The San Diego Crew Classic was an incredible opportunity for the novice boat, as we got to compete in our first official races of the spring season and experience the atmosphere of a full-scale collegiate regatta. We placed third in our heat on Saturday morning, which sent us to the petite final, but we were able to hold off the other crews to win that race and ultimately place 7th in our category. Though we were hoping to make the grand final, it was great to race against other crews that we will face later in the season, such as the University of Michigan and Orange Coast College. Being able to see where we stack up compared to our future competition—along with the local California teams—is strong motivation for us to keep working hard at practice and continue to prepare for our upcoming races. All in all, the intense racing atmosphere gave us a taste of what we have to look forward to this season, and sunny San Diego was a welcome change from the chilly weather we’ve rowed in thus far."
- Alex Kiess, 2 seat of the N8.