UC Irvine Crew Races at Huskie's Opening Day Regatta
UCI Student-Rower: UCI hallmark, “We always find a way forward.”
by George Basile
April 2, 2022
Seattle – The UC Irvine Men’s rowing team joined the University of Washington Huskies on Montlake Cut as the Huskies hosted their Husky Open Regatta. It was the first time UCI has been back to the event in over 41 years. UCI was the only collegiate club team competing, facing off against Division-1 crews, including multiple Pac12 boats from University of Washington and Oregon State University, as well as the University of British Columbia and Western Washington University.
The closest race of the regatta came in the Collegiate Varsity Four race between UCI, UW, Western Washington, and Oregon State. UCI, with coxswain Carlos Dominguez and stroke Cole Villa, was ahead for most of the race–the only crew to lead UW boats in any event–battling a veteran UW Husky crew. It was the second race of the morning for both crews. The Huskies made a charge in the last 200 meters to nip UCI at the line. UCI Coach AJ Brooks, a UW alumni and four-time UW National Champion himself, described the opportunity and challenge for the UCI crew, “Washington is an incredibly deep elite rowing program with over 120 years of championship history. Our student-athletes have worked hard to integrate that culture here. The boats we faced today include US champions, national team prospects from the select U23 boat, Henley Royal Regatta medalists, and some of the best rowers from around the world. That our men competed well at this high level is a unique learning and life experience. The support we received from UW shows the class of their program. Yes, we aimed to win the Varsity Four, but we competed as well or better than most of the D1 crews here. I’m proud of our team. Now it’s time to take lessons from this regatta and find more speed.”