Alumni Day is a special racing event annually hosted by Cal rowing to give alumni from both men’s and women’s crew the chance to come back and meet the current team and watch them race.
The event will be hosted at the T. Gary Rogers Rowing Center at the Oakland Estuary Saturday morning, with races beginning at 10:30 a.m.
The Estuary was the traditional home course for the men’s team, making it a nostalgic place for alumni to revisit for the races.
Often, Alumni Day is also referred to as “Class Day,” as the crews are separated into boats based on their official class year. After being broken up, the individual crews will compete against each other for 2,000 meter races.
Men’s crew plans to host five to six boats for the event. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors will each individually have boats and create one or two additional lineups depending on how many rowers are left over.
Women’s crew will also host five boats. An additional boat will be a mixed class boat referred to as the “renegades.”
“The team gets pretty fired up for that opportunity. The seniors want to beat the juniors, and the juniors want to beat the sophomores, and so on,” women’s head coach Al Acosta said.
Alumni Day is more of a fun event for the teams than serious racing, but it is still a chance for rowers to work on their skills in this early section of the season.
Given the fact that most races will not begin until early April, the races this past weekend as well as Alumni Day will give teams much-needed practice.
Last Alumni Day, many rowers enjoyed the presence of the alumni. However, during one of the practices the freshmen class’ boat got into an altercation with a log that had a vendetta.
“In practice we hit a log, and it tore off the skeg, and our boat was just un-rowable so we just couldn’t race last year,” sophomore Tim Roth said. “Our freshman boat was pretty good, but then we couldn’t race because our skeg was gone so that was a bit disappointing.”
Roth is looking forward to finally having a chance to row at Alumni Day and will be avoiding any menacing logs.