by Alia Arafeh
On Feb. 29 and Mar. 1, all four novice and varsity men and women squads of the Los Gatos Rowing Club attended the Fault Line Face off regatta in Orinda, CA, hosted by Oakland Strokes. The team took home several medals and overall positive racing experiences.
The first team that raced on Sunday was the Varsity women in doubles; one of which placed third in their heat, but not overall. The Varsity men’s doubles did very well, placing third in one race with a time of 7:07.18. One double placed first in their heat with a time of 7:07.73, and two other doubles-with stroke Justin Renner and bow Dominic Orlando in one and stroke Caleb Akers and bow Ethan Stubbs in the other-raced in the same heat, placing first and second with times of 7:28.79 and 7:37.47. In addition, the men’s lightweight eight took third place in their heat and the novice women’s freshman eight placed third in their race with a time of 7:15.40.
The women’s novice team coxed quads, which are four person sculling boats with a coxswain, also raced well. Hannah Feldman, a novice women’s coxswain who raced in an eight and in a quad, stated that “At the beginning I was really scared because it was our first 2k with varsity and then lining up to the stake boat was nerve wracking because when they called your name you had to be ready… but it was really fun.” Feldman placed second in her race in the coxed quad and fifth in her race in the eight.
The other novice quad placed first in their race. The men’s Varsity quads were successful, as one placed second in a photo-finish with a time of 6:36.94, losing the first place spot to the Long Beach Junior crew by milliseconds. Another quad placed third with Akers stroking, Alex McCully in three seat, Paul Cauchi in two seat, and Harrison Brown in bow. They raced again for their first place position overall. Also, one novice men’s quad placed second and another placed fourth in the same race.
To conclude the regatta, the men’s Junior Varsity eight, an eight-person boat, placed third. Caleb Akers, a Varsity athlete who competed in doubles and quads stated “we weren’t strict about anything. At the start of the race, we were just talking to each other, but once you hit the start, and they were about to say start, it was just straight focus throughout.”
The Los Gatos Rowing Club planned to send select athletes to the Shamrock Invite in Redwood City on Saturday, March 14, and to host a regatta in Lexington on Mar. 15. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 virus, both events were canceled. In addition, the San Diego Crew Classic, a huge event that was scheduled to be at the beginning of April, is also canceled. Finally, athletes will not attend practice for two weeks due to the virus and are planned to resume training on Mar. 27. The news comes as a disappointment to both athletes and coaches, but the team is ready to work hard when they go back to training. Paige Knudsen, a team captain for the Varsity Women and a senior at Branham High School said “I think it is certainly a set back for the team; however, if we continue to train and work hard, then it could be beneficial to us in the long run.” The individual crews are also doing what they can to stay in shape during their time off, and the Varsity women will follow a training schedule sent out by their coach. In addition, all athletes will be given the opportunity to borrow a rowing machine from the club.