The California Challenge Cup

The California Challenge Cup

UCI Rowing Home

Challenge Cup Overview

There are 27 entries racing in three qualifying pools, consisting of 27 crews each. Three rounds of Pool racing in rotating opponent two-crew races over approximately 1400m. After each round is completed, the speed order will determine points awarded with 22 points for the fastest time in each round, 21 for second, etc. through 0 for slowest. Winning your pairing earns one point and winning your pool round earns one more. The total points from three rounds will determine the twelve for the men’s and four for the women’s crews for the final position in the regatta.

Tune in on Race Day via Youtube with the LIVESTREAM below!

Bob Ernst and Jim Jorgenson will be calling the action throughout the day. We will also be honoring the late Duvall Hecht at certain breaks between races, so be sure not to miss it.

Even if you are watching the races in person, following on the live stream is a great way to have updates from the beginning of the course as the crews fly to the finish line and to see epic drone video coverage of each race.

Race Details

Regatta Date: March 5th, 2022

Venue: Marina Park Overview

Distance: 1400m

Maximum Entries: 28

Closing Date for Entries: Closed

Pre-Regatta Safety Meeting

Race Day Schedule

Access the full start list on ClockCaster:

START LIST

Spectating Information

Spectating is best on the beach near the Marina Park Community Center. Bring your beach chairs and picnic blankets and post up near the lighthouse for race audio and announcing.

Food and beverage available for purchase at the Lighthouse Cafe on the beach. Download & print this COUPON for a free beignet with any order!

PARKING IS LIMITED at Marina Park and in Newport Beach, in general. Plan ahead, use ride sharing options, if possible, and watch for posted signs and parking restrictions! Below is a map of Marina Park, for your convenience:

Interactive Course Map

Presentation of Awards

Henry T. Nicholas III Challenge Cup

Phillip Marshall Durbrow Challenge Cup

Dylan Ayres Challenge Cup

Experian Challenge Cup

Bob Newman Challenge Cup

Waypoint Construction Challenge Cup

Results

Pool results will be tabulated as the regatta proceeds and will be announced shortly after the last pool race. Finalists should bring their shells in to shore and store them until the playoffs begin. Check with your coaches. Award ceremonies will immediately follow the final race.

Clockcaster Results

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The California Challenge Cup Regatta was a great opportunity for a lot of rowing programs to get an early look at how their crews were performing early in the season.  I thought the format was really a valuable exercise for our team allowing three 8s to get in a lot of racing in a single day.  The shorter course (1250 meters) allowed us to try some different things and I thought our team handled the format and conditions really well.

The regatta was extremely well run especially when you consider this was the first year for the event and the amount of racing coming down the course.  It was a terrific venue, well supported by California crews, and a very big thank you to AJ Brooks, all the support staff, and the sponsors for putting on a first class regatta.

Jay Farwell, Head Coach - Santa Clara University

Message from Friends of UCI Rowing President – George Basile

Just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the entire 2020 sports and racing season for all athletes, the California Challenge Cup was hosted by UC Irvine Rowing with support from the Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III Foundation on February 29th, 2020. Hidden in a glassy channel overlooked by the Marina Park Community Center in Newport, thousands of spectators gathered on the beach, looked out the floor to ceiling windows of the community center, and cruised on the Ocean Explorer luxury yacht to watch rowing races fire-off every five minutes. It was Sunday, February 29, 2020. Leap-day.

This was the California Challenge Cup Regatta, hosted by UC Irvine, and made possible with the constant support of Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III. Designed and presented by Head Coach of the UC Irvine rowing program, Austin “AJ” Brooks, Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III welcomed the concept of a race that would allow crews multiple chances to duel it out, head-to-head, over a 1250 meter course. For the eleven Californian institutions that participated, this was an opportunity to put forward their top two eights and see the fruition of months of relentless work.

But, cycle back a year, to spring of 2019, with the original UC Challenge Cup regatta taking place. Then, with rain lashing down, storm-winds howling and fewer teams racing in single races over the traditional 2000 meters and with everyone straining to see just a part of the race course, Dr. Nick and the UCI rowing coaches and supporters began to imagine a very different race. In this race, the water would be calm, people would be able to see the event and crews – more of them from all around – would have more chances to race and test themselves early in the season. Over the course of the next twelve months, a new race was born: more crews, racing head-to-head, over multiple races, with spectators able to experience races from shore, water and screen, and with teams able to race, adjust and race again. Coaches and rowers loved the idea. We had just the place in Newport. The California Challenge Cup emerged and fans and spectators turned up aplenty…

Back to this spring, the newly formatted and expanded event was a smashing success, and all it promised to be, with Cal’s A and B boat taking first and second, and almost every crew taking home a victory in their bracket.

Message from Friends of UCI Rowing President – George Basile

Just weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic ended the entire 2020 sports and racing season for all athletes, the California Challenge Cup was hosted by UC Irvine Rowing with support from the Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III Foundation on February 29th, 2020. Hidden in a glassy channel overlooked by the Marina Park Community Center in Newport, thousands of spectators gathered on the beach, looked out the floor to ceiling windows of the community center, and cruised on the Ocean Explorer luxury yacht to watch rowing races fire-off every five minutes. It was Sunday, February 29, 2020. Leap-day.

This was the California Challenge Cup Regatta, hosted by UC Irvine, and made possible with the constant support of Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III. Designed and presented by Head Coach of the UC Irvine rowing program, Austin “AJ” Brooks, Dr. Henry T. Nicholas III welcomed the concept of a race that would allow crews multiple chances to duel it out, head-to-head, over a 1250 meter course. For the eleven Californian institutions that participated, this was an opportunity to put forward their top two eights and see the fruition of months of relentless work.

But, cycle back a year, to spring of 2019, with the original UC Challenge Cup regatta taking place. Then, with rain lashing down, storm-winds howling and fewer teams racing in single races over the traditional 2000 meters and with everyone straining to see just a part of the race course, Dr. Nick and the UCI rowing coaches and supporters began to imagine a very different race. In this race, the water would be calm, people would be able to see the event and crews – more of them from all around – would have more chances to race and test themselves early in the season. Over the course of the next twelve months, a new race was born: more crews, racing head-to-head, over multiple races, with spectators able to experience races from shore, water and screen, and with teams able to race, adjust and race again. Coaches and rowers loved the idea. We had just the place in Newport. The California Challenge Cup emerged and fans and spectators turned up aplenty…

Back to this spring, the newly formatted and expanded event was a smashing success, and all it promised to be, with Cal’s A and B boat taking first and second, and almost every crew taking home a victory in their bracket.

Opportunities on the Horizon

With the successful California Challenge Cup as one example of the can-do spirit and creative vision of rowers, the abrupt end of the 2020 racing season has also created a platform for new ideas and support. University athletic governing bodies are providing athletes with another year of eligibility. As a result, many enterprising rowers and their universities are exploring ways to enable seniors to row one more year while working towards advanced degrees. Just imagine if one of the outputs from the COVID-19 pandemic is a whole new class of professionals with the perseverance, intelligence and almost absurd ability to succeed in the face of overwhelming challenges that we find in rowers. Hmmmmm, very interesting indeed, eh!