Over Memorial Day weekend, the UC Irvine Men’s Crew team wrapped up their 2018/19 season with a strong performance at the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championship Regatta at Lake Lanier Olympic Park, Georgia.
In the first heat of the regatta’s premier event, the Men’s Varsity Eight (MV8+), UCI drew the toughest match-ups of the day. With only the top three of eight boats in the heat proceeding directly on, the varsity eight crew earned their spot in the A/B Semifinals, posting a time of 6:15.09, finishing bow to stern with Purdue, the #1 seed of the entire ACRA Championships. Later in the afternoon, the Men’s Novice-4 (MN4+) also finished second in their heat, placing them in the Semifinals for Saturday.
On Saturday morning, the Men’s Second Varsity-8 (M2V8+) finished fifth in their heat but came back charging in an afternoon repechage, vying for a spot in the A final. Despite a heroic surge against UC Davis, the M2V8+ crossed the line second, placing them in the Sunday B finals.
Sandwiched between these two races, UCI’s MV8+ raced their semi-final heat, again drawing the fastest heat of the day. Our MV8+ beat out UCSB in a photo finish claiming fourth and placing them in Sunday’s Grand Finals. Soon after, UCI’s MN4+ finished second behind Georgia Tech to advance to the A Finals.
Sunday morning started off strong with UCI’s M2V8+ dominating the B Finals, finishing three boat lengths ahead of the competition and posting the sixth fastest time overall from the M2V8+. Following shortly thereafter, the MN4+ took fifth in the A Final. In the last event of the day, UCI’s MV8+, the only West Coast school and school west of Minnesota to advance to the Grand Finals, led the first five hundred meters of the race, battling a quartering headwind in the outside lane, finishing sixth out of eight crews. Coming together before the Grand Finals, our West Coast peers cheered us on as the “Best in the West.”